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31 Storg of i\\z Qoxxti) Qt)oxe 







Copyright, 1886, by Harper & Brothers. 

All rights reserved. 




CHAPTER I. page 









SKATTA ........... 67 






THE SECRET CHAMBER I ' . . . . J . %. . \> ; . ... . 108 





























" C'nvention ? What's a c'nvention ?" 

" Oh, it's a lot o' men, 'n they meet and chew 
tobacco and scatter the votes all over the floor, 
till it looks worse than a pigsty, Thankful says, 'n 
then they come over here 'n eat 'n eat till they're 
fit to burst. But it's fun ! I shall be glad when 
I'm old enough to go to c'nvention." 

"Do women go?" asked Dolly. 

" No, indeed ! 'tisn't fit for women and girls," 
replied Ned, emphatically. 

The two speakers were sitting in the veranda 
of the old tavern at Byfield. One would have 
known at once that the long, rambling, veranda- 
shaded house was a tavern because of the tall sign- 
post standing at its north-west corner. - The sign 
was a huge gilt ball attached to an arrow-shaped 


scroll of iron, and had it been an English inn it 
would doubtless have been called " The Orange 
and Arrow/' and have had a story about it like 
the story of William Tell. As it was, there was 
no story at all, and it was known through the 
county simply as " Park's Tavern. " 

The- stage-coach which ran between Boston and 
Plymouth stopped there daily, and it came dash- 
ing up to the door now, bringing the first comers 
to the " c'nvention." These came from Hingham, 
the remotest town in the county, and they would 
spend the night preceding and the night following 
the convention at the tavern. Railroads were un- 
known as yet, and almost everybody came to the 
convention, as they went everywhere else, in their 
own carriages. The coach was crowded inside and 
out. This was a Whig convention, and the stage- 
driver, who was a Whig, had tied red, white, and 
blue ribbons on the harnesses of his six horses, 
which gave to the turnout a gay and festive air. 

" A fine day, an' a fine drive, gen'lemen," he 
said, as he tossed the reins to the hostler and clam- 
bered heavily down the steps of the stage-coach, 
for he was immensely fat. 

Dolly had arrived by that same coach eight days 
before. It was her first visit to Cousin Ned at 
Byfield, and as her home was in Boston, and she 
had rarely been into the country except for short 
drives to Quincy and Cambridge, everything was 
new, and every experience fresh and delightful. 


Well, the morning of the " convention " came, 
and the household at Park's Tavern were astir 
early. Dolly heard the first twitter of the robins 
in the cherry-tree by her window and was wide 
awake in an instant, with her mind full of the 
"invention." By the time she was dressed Ned 
had despatched the chores, which he did with such 
marvellous promptness that Thankful remarked, 
grimly, " 'Twas a pity there wasn't a c'nvention 
every day in the year." 

" Oh, come now, Thankful, you'll like it yourself 
next week — see 'f you don't! 'n won't you be 
spry !" replied Ned. 

Thereat Thankful said she " hoped she knowed 
her duty," which meant that she should do her 
best, if 'twas a Whig convention. For Thankful 
was a Democrat, and the next week the Democrats 
would hold their convention in the meeting-house 
at Byfield, and would dine at the tavern. As to 
the Whig coachman, she was barely civil when he 
came into the kitchen to bring a hamper of turkeys 
he had fetched from Boston, and she sniffed scorn- 
fully when Ned called her attention to the berib- 
boned horses. 

The breakfast was quickly eaten, and then the 
business of the day began. The cook-stove was 
taken out by four men from the inner kitchen and 
set up in the outer kitchen. A fire was made in 
the brick ovens in both kitchens, and when they 
were hot the coals were raked out with a long pole 


with a crook at one end, the whole something like 
a shepherd's crook, and the ovens were filled, one 
with huge sirloins of beef and spare-ribs of pork, 
the other with loaves of rye and wheat bread and 
plummy pudding. The pies had been made pre- 
viously — one hundred mince, apple, pumpkin, and 
cranberry pies — and were spread out on tables in 
the L chamber, imparting to the atmosphere there- 
of a deliciously spicy fragrance perfectly intoxicat- 
ing to any properly constructed boy. 

Perhaps you wonder why the cook-stove should 
have been taken out of the inner kitchen. So did 

" You wait and see," said Ned. " That's part of 
the fun." 

There was a big fireplace in this kitchen, such 
as you sometimes see in pictures or in very old 
houses, big enough to roast an ox w T hole in. 'Zekle, 
assisted by Ned, who liked to have a finger in ev- 
ery pie, made a fire in this fireplace of hickory and 
oak, which roared up the chimney hilariously as if 
understanding that it, too, was a part of the fun. 
Then 'Zekle, still assisted by Ned and followed by 
Dolly, brought down from the attic six tin " kitch- 
ens," as they were called, which looked very much 
like tin caves, Dolly thought. These were ar- 
ranged in a semicircle before the fireplace, with 
the mouth of the cave turned towards the fire. 
Within each cave, or tin kitchen, two fat turkeys, 
after being carefully stuffed and trussed, were spit- 


ted, ue n the long iron spit which went through the 
tin kitchen from end to end was thrust through 
the turkeys, and on this rod they revolved and 
slowly roasted. Under instructions from Thank- 
ful, Dolly was permitted as a great privilege to as- 
sist in basting these turkeys. She was supplied 
with one of Thankful's blue -and -white check 
aprons, which enveloped her little figure from top 
to toe, and a long-handled iron spoon was put in 
her hand. Every few minutes she turned the spit 
of one of the tin kitchens, and dipping up the 
gravy from the bottom, allowed it to dribble slow- 
ly from the spoon over the crisp browning turkey. 
As there were six of the tin kitchens, this kept her 
busy, and her cheeks grew rosy, but oh it was de- 
licious fun ! and, " I say, Dolly," said Ned, " don't 
they smell prime ! I do hope those greedy Whigs 
won't eat every bit, as they did last year. Such 
pigs ! Nothing left but bones to suck. Going to 
c'nvention is awful hungry work, I guess." 

From the six pots and kettles on the stove in 
the outer kitchen came a bubbling sound, a knock- 
ing as the onions and turnips bounced against the 
lids, and a fire was made under the huge iron wash- 
boiler in which the potatoes were to be cooked. 

" I say, Dolly," put in Ned, tired at last of doing 
nothing but watch her at her basting, " let's go out 
and see 'em come ; and bime-by, when the pud- 
ding-sauce is done, we'll have the kettle to scrape, 
you know." 


But before going out they went up-stairs to view 
the tables which Thankful, assisted by a bouncing 
girl, the daughter of one of the neighbors, had al- 
ready set. The dining-hall, for that day, was the 
dancing-hall proper. This was a long room run- 
ning from side to side of the house, with many 
windows. It had a smooth, shiny floor of hard 
pine, like a skating-rink floor, though of course 
roller-skating had not then even been thought of. 
But Ned would have told you that it was "prime" 
for sliding, for he had tried it. 

Two tables were set lengthwise of this room, 
tables made of boards upheld by cross-sticks and 
covered with snow-white cotton cloth. The dishes 
were of that deep, beautiful blue so rare to find 
nowadays, and which brings such a price when a 
bit is found ; plates, tureens, platters, cups, all of 
the same color. 

The pewter casters had been conscientiously pol- 
ished by Thankful to the last degree of brilliancy, 
and were only rivalled by the glitter of the groups 
of glass tumblers. Down the centre of each table 
was a row of decanters filled with hard cider of a 
delicate amber color. The forks were two-pronged 
and of steel, and napkins seemed to have been 
looked upon as superfluous, for there were none 
on the table. 

Before Ned and Dolly were fairly seated in their 
place of observation in the shade of the big cherry- 
tree, one or two carriages had arrived and the hos- 


tiers were taking out the horses. The vehicles were 
of all sizes and shapes. A pretty sulky drawn by 
a white-eyed racker came swiftly and silently into 
the yard, and from it stepped a slight, brown-eyed 
man, to whom Ned shouted, " Halloo, Doctor!" 
Then came the delegation from the north part of 
the county, in a hay- cart furnished with seats, 
shaded by branches of oak and pine fastened to 
the stakes. This was followed by a half-dozen 
dilapidated carry-alls with flapping curtains, drawn 
by horses in every stage of meagreness. 

A light barouche, drawn by a pair of beautiful 
black horses, now came into the yard. The driver 
was a negro, and as he alighted and opened the car- 
riage door a tall man stepped out. He was very 
tall, his shoulders were very broad, and he was very 
dark. As he lifted his hat to Mrs. Park, who stood 
in the east door, he showed a head that looked like 
the State-house dome, so Dolly whispered to Ned. 
His eyes were black, deep set, and glowed like a 
smouldering fire, but a fire which may blaze out at 
any unexpected moment. He wore black trousers, 
a blue coat with brass buttons, and a buff waist- 
coat. He was a remarkable looking man, and it is 
not to be wondered at that Dolly and Ned viewed 
him with much curiosity. 

"Who is he, anyway ?" whispered Dolly. 

" I don't know," replied Ned. " I never saw him 

Faster and faster came the carriages, and the 


crowd grew, and by little groups, and singly, they 
made their way over the Green to the meeting- 
house where the business of the convention was to 
be transacted. 

" I shouldn't wonder if the pudding-sauce was 
done," remarked Ned. " S'pose we go and see/* 

"I'll get it," said Dolly; "you wait here;" and 
she flew to the kitchen, where she found Thankful 
just in the act of pouring the sirupy, nutmeggy 
sauce into the sauce-bowls. Now, Thankful, with 
all her grimness, and she could be very grim, had 
a soft spot in her heart for children, and for these 
two especially ; and so, though she conscientiously 
held the brass kettle inverted till all had run out 
that could easily, she did not scrape it, as Dolly 
observed, but handed it to her, with the remark, 
" There, don't go 'n make yourselves sick now. 
There's enough to do, in all conscience, 'thout hav- 
in' sick child'en to take care of." 

Dolly started down the flight of five stone steps 
leading from the kitchen to the well-yard, caught 
her foot, and fell headlong, with a dreadful ringing 
of the brass kettle as it bounded down in advance, 
and there stood two of the " c'nventioners " not 
three yards off! Dolly's face was crimson as she 
got up none the worse for her fall, though the 
brass kettle, as she picked it up, showed a bad dent 
in the side. She glanced furtively at the " c'nven- 
tioners" to see if they were smiling over her mis- 
hap. Bless 'em ! they had neither seen nor heard 


her, so deep were they in their political schemes. 
Dolly's respect for the " c'nventioners " increased. 
" Politics must be very interesting," she said to 
Ned, as they scraped the kettle sociably together. 
" I wish women and girls went. Say, couldn't we 
just go over and peep and see what they are do- 


" No, indeed, not you !" replied Ned, with his 
mouth full of sauce, greatly scandalized at the sug- 
gestion. " I might, 'cause I'm a boy, but 'twould 
never do for a girl, you know." 

But Dolly did not know any such thing; and 
then and there an idea popped into her head which 
she did not share with Ned as usual. 

The meeting-house clock struck twelve, which 
was the dinner-hour. The doors of the meeting- 
house opened, and the convention moved out in 
long procession over the Green to the tavern, but 
Dolly and Ned, being well screened by the lilacs, 
did not move, but sat and watched them as they 
passed in. 

"There he is again," whispered Dolly, "the big 
man with the head like the State-house dome. 
Who can he be?" 

" I'll ask Doctor Stone, he'll know ; he knows 
everybody," said Ned. And he accosted the brown- 
eyed doctor as he passed by, 

" Say, doctor, who's that big fellow with the blue 
coat and brass buttons ?" 

" That," replied the doctor, smiling down on the 


two eager faces, "that is Daniel Webster. And 
look at him well, my boy, for some time you may 
be glad and proud to be able to say that you have 
even seen Daniel Webster." 

The convention passed into the dining-hall and 
a rattling of dishes ensued. " Oh dear !" said Ned, 
with a deep sigh from the region of his empty stom- 
ach, " I s'pose they'll be at it two hours." 

But just at that moment an unexpected call came 
from Thankful, who was standing in the kitchen 
door. " Come, child'en, an' git some dinner," she 

And there, as they went in, on a corner of the 
kitchen -table which she had cleared, they espied 
as delicious a little dinner of turkey as two starv- 
ing human creatures could ask for. The drumstick 
and neck and plenty of crisp skin for Ned, and two 
wings and a generous supply of " breast " for Dolly, 
with unlimited cranberry sauce and onions, togeth- 
er with the privilege of calling for as much pudding 
and pie as they liked. 

" Oh, goody, what a spread !" cried Ned. " You ? re 
a dear old Thankful, that's what you are, Thank- 
ful !" 

" Well, it did seem too bad for you child'en to 
wait till all them grown folks had got through. I 
never could see no sense in alwa's makin' child'en 
wait," rejoined Thankful, with a wisdom that young 
folks at least appreciate. 

While they were eating their dinner Ned's father 


came in. " Ned," said he, " as soon 's you've done 
dinner just take Bill and ride over to Torrey's Mills, 
and tell 'em to send me a couple o' bags of meal." 
• " And," added his mother, "you might as well 
take the gizzards along to Aunt Debby. It's on 
your way, and they'll like them for a stew." 

" Oh, isn't that queer !" said Dolly, " stewed giz- 
zards !" 

" Horrid, ain't it ?" rejoined Ned. " But they 
like 'em. Mother always sends 'em the gizzards 
when she has turkeys, and they always ask me to 
stay to dinner. But I don't accept, you bet ! Say," 
he continued, " don't you want to ride over there 
with me ? — it's only a mile, and old Bill can carry us 
both, and you can see the three old aunties. It's 
no end o' fun. They're awful jolly 'f they do eat 
gizzards. Aunt Patty's head goes so," shaking his 
curly pate in vain imitation of poor aunt Patty's 
palsy-stricken head. 

But Dolly declined the tempting proposal, for, 
as elsewhere hinted, she was nursing a brilliant idea 
which Ned's absence would allow her to put into 

So she bade him a cheerful " good -by," and 
after watching him well out of sight, with one 
sweeping glance to assure herself that no one was 
at door or window, she ran across the Green to the 
meeting-house door, and pausing just an instant to 
make sure again that no one saw her, she sprang 
through the open door, and, speeding like a fright- 



ened fawn up the central aisle, she never stopped 
to take breath till she was safely inside the pulpit. 
This was not a modern pulpit, but an old-fashion- 
ed, roomy one, which could hold comfortably a 
party of a dozen people. The sides were high, so 
high that Dolly could just peep over. The over- 
hanging sounding-board lent a cosey, shut-in feel- 
ing to the place which seemed pleasant to Dolly — 
wilful, inquisitive Dolly, who wanted to know what 
a "c'nvention " was like, and had taken this way 
to find out. She soon saw, however, that a more 
secure hiding-place was necessary, for any one 
chancing to go into the gallery could look directly 
down upon her. 

Across the back of the pulpit was a broad, cush- 
ioned seat, down to and back of which fell the 
heavy damask window draperies. Here was the 
very place ! and Dolly lay down upon the shabby 
velvet cushions and drew the heavy draperies about 

By-and-by, after what seemed to her an inter- 
minable time, the convention began to straggle in. 
The president called the meeting to order and busi- 
ness was resumed. Dolly pulled aside the cur- 
tains a bit and looked out. She was relieved to 
find that the convention confined itself to the floor 
of the house and did not invade the galleries. She 
listened. Confused murmurs arose of w r hich she 
could hear only an occasional word. Somebody 
made a long speech about free - trade and the 


tariff, and the listeners cried "Hear! hear!" and 

" It's stupid !" thought Dolly. " I thought c'n- 
ventions would be more interesting." And she 
had a rather mournful dissolving view of Ned rid- 
ing on old Bill and carrying the basket of gizzards, 
and almost wished she had gone. Almost, not 
quite ; for it was something to be at a " c'nvention," 
even if one had to hide behind a curtain, and it was 

Soon a great clamor arose. Somebody had 
said something he oughtn't to, and somebody else 
shouted, " Mr. President, I rise to a point of order," 
and the clamor increased, and there was stamping 
and hissing, and the president brought down his 
gavel with a prodigious rap-rap, and then the clam- 
or subsided and became a murmur again, which 
grew fainter and fainter till it ceased altogether; 
for, snug in her nest on the comfortable cushions, 
overcome with the fatigues of the long, exciting 
day, and heavy, too, with the amount of turkey 
and pudding she had eaten, Dolly fell fast asleep, 
and the convention had lost the ear of its hidden 

The convention finished its business and ad- 
journed sine die. Those members who lived in the 
nearer towns ordered out their vehicles and drove 
rapidly off. Those from the more remote towns 
stayed to take supper, or " a bite," as Thankful 
phrased it, before starting. At last all who were 


going had gone. The sexton, looking in and see- 
ing the meeting-house apparently empty, locked 
the doors and went home. The sun set and the 
twilight faded. Ned coming home, and not seeing 
Dolly about, said to his mother, " Dolly's gone to 
bed, and I'm going too, for I'm awful tired." All 
the inmates of the tavern, among whom were the 
delegates from Hingham and Rochester, weary with 
the fatigues of the day, went off to bed at an un- 
usually early hour, and the lights were put out. 
And still Dolly slept on heavily and peacefully 
upon the cushions of the old pulpit, shrouded in 
the damask draperies. 

About midnight she awoke ; she awoke sudden- 
ly. As she drew aside the curtain and saw the 
great space about her, the blindless windows of the 
old meeting-house staring at her like so many wide- 
open eyes, she thought at first it was a part of her 
dreams. Then it all came to her — how she must 
have fallen asleep — the people had all gone — it 
was night, and she was alone in the building ! 

Her first impulse was to cry out. But Dolly was 
a brave girl. She suppressed the cry before it had 
passed her lips. She thought, " I know it's awful 
to be alone here, but then I am alone. There's 
nobody to harm me. I must stay here till morn- 
ing. I'll try to go to sleep if I can, again, and then 
I sha'n't know anything about it. It's really snug 
up here. But, oh, why didn't they miss me and 
find me ?" Here she came very near crying, as she 


thought of them all asleep in their beds over there, 
only the one little white bed in her own room 
empty. But she choked down the cry as she had 
done the scream, lay down again and drew the cur- 
tains more closely about her, and was just begin- 
ning to say over softly her evening prayer, when 
she heard a movement and a suppressed voice : 

"Dye hear that, Ben?" 

" What ?" said another voice. 

" That noise." 

" Rats !" rejoined the other. " These old bar- 
racks are always full of 'em." 

I cannot repeat all the conversation to which 
Dolly listened from behind the curtains, trembling 
very much at first, but getting back her courage 
as she began to comprehend what they were talk- 
ing about. 

" Yes, a pile," one of them said. " Fifty cents 
a head for the dinner, and two hundred he got 
from the bank t'other day to pay Wright — it'll be 
the biggest haul we've made for many a day." 

" Where's he keep it?" 

" In his chist, clost by his bed." 

" Spos'en he sh'd wake up ?" 

"I'll tend t' that," replied the other, significantly. 

Yes, it was her dear, good uncle of whom they 
were talking, and this was a plot to rob him of his 
money, and worse, perhaps, should he wake. 

" It's time, come along," said the voice which be- 
longed to Ben, and they made their way from the 


pews where they two had been sleeping to an open 
window in the rear of the meeting-house. 

Dolly stood up carefully on the cushions, and, 
peeping out between the curtains, saw in the dim 
starlight, for the night was moonless, two burly 
men who climbed heavily out. She waited till 
their steps died away, then she ran noiselessly down 
the pulpit stairs, and cautiously through the aisles, 
lest she might hit an open pew-door and so shut 
it with a bang that would warn the thieves that 
they had left something besides rats behind them. 
She leaped lightly through the window and, going 
in an opposite direction from that taken by the 
men, crossed the road through a slight hollow north 
of the tavern, and so stole up to its rear through 
the garden, whose thick-growing quince-bushes and 
dwarf trees screened her from observation. She 
had made no plan of action — there had not been 
time to think much ; it seemed to come to her, as 
she said afterwards, just what^to do, and she only 
felt that it must be done quickly. 

And now one of her accomplishments, of which 
she had sometimes felt a little ashamed, because 
it had won her the name of " tomboy " — the abil- 
ity to climb lightly and swiftly — came into play. 
Thankful's wash -bench stood under the edge of 
the veranda, and springing upon this, with the help 
of the grape-vine she gained the veranda roof, ran 
lightly around the west and north sides of the house 
to the great cherry-tree that stood not far from her 


uncle's bedroom window. Up, up its branches she 
flew like a squirrel, even to the very top, and she 
had barely reached it when the feet of the thieves 
were heard upon the gravelly way which led into 
the yard. They crept cautiously up to the win- 
dow, their hands were upon it, when suddenly out 
from the cherry-tree, almost directly above their 
heads, there burst such a volume of happy, rollick- 
ing song, such trills and warblings as of a multi- 
tude of song-birds, accompanied with a soft sway- 
ing of the branches, that, terrified beyond measure, 
they stood for a moment motionless and then turn- 
ed and fled. Dolly listened to their fast -fleeing 
steps till they died in the distance, and with them 
died her song. 

At that instant Thankful's window went up, 
and Thankful's nightcapped head was thrust out. 
" Bless us and save us !" she ejaculated. " What 
is a-goin' on !" 

" Oh, Thankful/' cried a cheery voice out of the 
cherry-tree, and a white figure dropped upon the 
veranda roof. " I'm so glad it's you ! Come and 
let me in." 

"The little creetur is a-walkin' in her sleep," 
muttered Thankful as she pulled in her head. 
" She'll break her blessed neck! — unless it's a 
spook !" she added, under her breath ; and to make 
sure it wasn't she looked into Dolly's room on her 
way down to the door. Sure enough, there was 
the little empty bed. No bonny bright head on 


its pillow ! No sweet confusion of dainty clothes 
scattered about the room ! 

She unfastened the front door, and meanwhile 
the other inmates of the tavern, including the del- 
egates, having been awakened, they now present- 
ed themselves, in every stage of undress. They 
all crowded around Dolly, offering explanations. 
"She's walking in her sleep/' they reiterated, one 
after the other. "And it's a marcy she didn't 
break her neck a-singin' up in that cherry-tree," 
added Thankful. 

" Oh, Thankful, I'm not asleep. Please don't 
say so," entreated Dolly. 

Aunt Anna, who by this time had come out of 
her bedroom, put her arm about Dolly and drew 
her to her side. She was shivering from head to 
foot, and her eyes shone as the star we call Venus 
shines in the April twilight. Aunt Anna touched 
her cheek with hers. It was aflame with fever. 
"The child is sick," she said. "She's out of her 

" Oh, don't talk so, please don't talk so !" said 
Dolly, bursting into a passion of tears and sobs, 
which, happily, came as a relief to the severe nerv- 
ous tension which might really have ended in de- 

" Well, dear, tell us what it does mean, if you 
wish," said Aunt Anna, gently, when Dolly's sobs 
had ceased. 

And Dolly told her story. It was heard in si- 


lence, only Thankful ejaculating, when Dolly reach- 
ed the point when she first knew the thieves were 
in the meeting-house, " Dear little lamb! it's a 
marcy the wolves didn't get her!" 

"And now come out, please," she added, "and 
you'll know it's all true, for they tramped right 
over auntie's ' none-so-pretties.' " 

They went out, 'Zekle having fetched a lantern, 
and there in truth were the bright-faced flowers 
crushed and bruised under the footsteps of the 
thieves, and the pet of the flower-garden, a 
gorgeous root of tiger-lilies, was broken entirely 

" And here's sunthin' else," said 'Zekle, picking 
up a huge pistol from out the " none-so-pretties." 
He pointed it upward and fired. "There! that'll 
let 'em know we're awake," he said. 

Aunt Anna, who greatly feared the harmful ef- 
fect of this adventure upon Dolly, undressed her 
herself, and after bathing her in the warm bath 
which Thankful had promptly prepared, sat by her 
till she fell asleep. She slept far into the morning, 
and Ned, who was the only one who had not wak- 
ened the night before, heard the whole story be- 
fore she was out of her bedroom, and profound was 
his admiration for Dolly's "pluck." 

" 'Twas just like a girl to do that ! You never 
know what a girl will do. Now I should 'a' just 

" But why didn't you go straight to some door 


or window, and pound, instead of climbing into a 
tree ?" said he to Dolly herself. 

"I think I thought of it," said Dolly, " but I 
couldn't be sure but the thieves had got there, 
and I wanted to get right round to uncle's win- 
dow as still as I could, and, too, I knew I couldn't 
knock loud enough to wake anybody sound asleep, 
and besides — well, I don't know just how it 

" But what made you think about the sing- 
ing, Dolly? that was the very queerest of all," he 

" I don't know," replied Dolly, " unless 'twas the 
wolf story. You know, Ned, when the man was 
followed by wolves he climbed up on a roof, and 
because the roof was low, and he was afraid they 
might climb up too, if they were very hungry, he 
played to them on his violin to entertain them, and 
they sat round and listened till somebody came and 
scared them off. They were just charmed, you see, 
and p'raps I thought I could charm the thieves. 
At any rate I didn't think much about it — I just 
did it." 

" What did you sing, anyway ?" asked Ned. 

" Oh, that was the queerest !" replied Dolly. " I 
couldn't think of anything but just this fairy song. 
Nurse Lely taught it to me," and she sprang up 
and went dancing up and down the hall (for they 
were in the dancing-hall, the tables having been 
removed) singing: 


" Oh, dance, dance as the fairies dance, 
The fairies dance, the fairies dance; 
Oh, dance, dance as the fairies dance, 
Trip-trip in the magic ring. 

"Oh, sleep, sleep as the fairies sleep, 
The fairies sleep, the fairies sleep; 
Oh, sleep, sleep as the fairies sleep — 
In the cowslip 's bell they swing. 

" Oh, fly, fly as the fairies fly, 
The fairies fly, the fairies fly; 
Oh, fly, fly as the fairies fly 
On the black bafs dusky wing!' 

And as she danced to and fro, keeping time to 
the rhythm, and gently swaying like the cowslips* 
bells, and then flew up and down the hall with her 
arms beating the air like wings, Ned found it diffi- 
cult to give full expression to his delight. 

" Did you really do all that — the dancing and 
flying, I mean — up in the tree?" 

" What I could ; but I had to hold on with one 
hand, you know." 

" Say, let me see you do it up there some time, 
will you ?" Ned asked. 

" P'raps so," Dolly replied. 

" But I say," continued Ned, after a moment's 
reflection, " what cowards those fellows were, to be 
scared by a girl singing a fairy song in a tree !" 

" Ah, Ned," said his mother, who was sorting 
pies in the L chamber which opened out of the 
hall, " sin is always cowardly. It is only right- 
eousness that is brave." 



About ten days after the convention the fol- 
lowing letter tumbled out of the mail -bag as it 
was shaken over the table within the tavern bar 
which served as the Byfield post-office, the let- 
ters and papers occupying the shelves whereon 
formerly wines and liquors had been kept. The 
letter was postmarked Boston, and directed to Mrs. 
Park. It was as follows : 

" Dear Sister Anna,— When we sent our Dolly 
to you for a brief visit, we little thought it might 
lengthen into months if not a year. We are going 
to Southern France, and I take it for granted, even 
before asking, that you will take care of her during 
our absence. As you know, my health has not 
been good for a long time, and Dr. Bowditch in- 
sists upon a year in that climate, and so strenu- 
ously that Malcolm has taken fright and has al- 
ready engaged our passage in the packet sailing 
on Saturday next. So there is not time even for 
the briefest visit to Dolly ; and perhaps it is for the 
best, after all. Comfort her, my dear sister, with 


motherly comfort, as you know so well how to do. 
Expect a passionate outbreak at first. Poor child ! 
it will be hard for her, as it is for us. In a couple 
of days you may expect her trunks. 

" I need not assure you again how great a com- 
fort it will be for us, when the wide Atlantic is 
between, that she is with you and Harry. Love 
to him and to your manly little Ned. Excuse the 
brevity of this, for time presses. 

" I enclose a letter for Dolly. 

" Your affectionate sister, 

" Helen Winslow. 

" P. S. — I forgot to say that if we remain over 
the summer we shall most probably send for Dolly 
to come over with the Grays, who sail the last of 

Having read her letter, Mrs. Park went in search 
of Dolly, whom she found with Ned in the kitch- 
en, superintending the preparations for the an- 
nual salt-haying. Countless loaves of bread, bush- 
els of doughnuts, a boiled ham, and chunks of pink 
saltpetred beef, were being packed into boxes and 

" Oh, Ned, I wish we could go !" Dolly was say- 
ing, just as Mrs. Park entered. Catching sight of 
the letter, she came eagerly forward. " Is it from 
papa?" she asked, " and is he coming?" 

" It is a letter for you, my dear," was the reply. 
Dolly tore it open impetuously and devoured the 


contents with a glance. Then, with a passionate 
cry, she threw it upon the floor and ran out of the 

" What's the matter, mother ?" asked Uncle Har- 
ry, who was in the kitchen, fitting a scythe to its 

" Malcolm and Helen sail on Saturday for Eu- 
rope," was the reply. " It's a sudden plan, and 
there's no time to see Dolly. Helen hinted at an 
outburst. Poor child ! it's hard for her, and I wish 
we could do something to divert her mind for a 

" Take her salt-hayin'," suggested Thankful, who 
was trying to coax a big cheese into a bag much 
too small for it. " She was jest a-wishin' she c'd 
go. That would divart her if anything can." 

" So it would ! I wish we might manage it," 
said Mrs. Park, looking doubtfully at her husband. 

" Nothing easier," replied Mr. Park, after a pause, 
during which he had been critically surveying his 
snath with one eye, while he considered the ques- 
tion of salt-haying as a diversion for Dolly. " I 
guess we can manage it. A change '11 do you 
good ; an' there's the old Marchant House close to 
the marsh" (he pronounced it " ma'sh "), " and if 
we take a few fixings it'll be tolerably comfort- 
able. Thankful will send things cooked, as she 
always does, and we can depend on Skipper Joe 
for extras." 

So it was arranged, and then Mrs. Park said, 


" Now I'll go and find Dolly, or perhaps, Ned, you 
had better go. Tell her about the salt-haying, 
and comfort her as well as you can/ 9 

Ned, nothing loath, and feeling great confidence 
in his powers as comforter, especially when back- 
ed by anything so alluring as a stay by the salt 
marsh, after some search found her on the shady 
side of the great hay-rick. She had cried out her 
grief and was lying on the ground, with eyes shut, 
so at first he thought she was asleep. But as he 
drew near she opened her eyes. 

"Oh, Dolly, I'm no end sorry !" Ned hastened 
to say. " But father says we can go salt-haying, 
and mother's going, an' it'll be bully ! There !" he 
added, penitently, " I promised mother I'd never 
say that word again. A feller must say something 
or burst. But I've promised, you know. Just 
stop me, will you, Dolly, when you see it coming? 
And I say, wouldn't it be first-rate 'f we could ride 
down in the hay-cart ? But I s'pose we shall have 
to go in the carry-all. But I'll drive, anyhow ; fa- 
ther '11 let me ; an' you shall sit on the front seat, 
Dolly." And Ned paused, feeling that he had pre- 
sented a succession of joys enough to brighten the 
most hopeless grief. 

u Oh, I shall like that !" said Dolly. " And now," 
looking a little ashamed, " I'll go and get my let- 
ter. I wonder what Aunt Anna '11 think of me, 
throwing it down in that fashion ! Mamma is used 
to my rages." 


" Oh, she won't mind," said Ned. " She's used 
t' me. Mothers don't mind, you know. I guess 
they're all a good deal alike, anyway. And I think 
you're first-rate, Dolly. I always hated t' have 
girls 'round before ; but I like you. You ain't 
afraid of anything — don't squeal when you see a 
snake or a spider; and I don't b'lieve you'd mind 
being tipped over in a boat an' getting all mud." 

" Oh no," said Dolly, brightening more and 
more under these healing ministrations, "I should 
like that — I know I should like that ! Papa says 
I'm just like him when he was a boy. I just revel 
in dirt." 

They went back to the house, and Dolly picked 
up her letter, while Thankful drew a flaky apple 
turnover from the oven. 

" Here's somethin' you'll like, I know," she said, 
offering it to Dolly on the wooden shovel with 
which she had taken it from the hot brick floor of 
the oven. Thankful had great faith in the efficacy 
of " good victuals " for the healing of ordinary 
wounds of the spirit. 

Then Dolly found Aunt Anna, and apologized 
for her rage ; and Aunt Anna took her into her 
motherly arms, and they had a comfortable talk. 

" When I was a little girl, Aunt Anna," said 
Dolly, " I used to fly into such rages ! When I 
was a baby, mamma says, just a two-year-old baby, 
I used to throw myself down straight and stiff, and 
knock my curly head hard on the floor, when I was 


mad. Wasn't it funny? I don't do that now, of 
course, and I thought I was getting the better of it ;" 
and she looked somewhat doubtfully at Aunt Anna. 

" Well, I'm sure you have every reason to be en- 
couraged," said Aunt Anna, cheerfully. "Throw- 
ing down your letter was a decided advance upon 
throwing yourself down and knocking your head 
against the floor;" and she laughed, and Dolly with 
her. " Well, well, Dolly, we all have our battles to 
fight, and here's one motto I have found of great 
use — ' There's no lock but Patience has the key.' ' 

The old Marchant House stood close by the 
marshes, not another house within a mile in any 
direction, although by climbing up to the top of a 
range of grass-grown hills hard by you might see 
the spires of Dukesborough far away to the south- 
east. The house was a weather-beaten structure 
of one story, spreading itself generously over the 
ground, and in it lived, the year round, an old 
sailor known as Skipper Joe. 

Skipper Joe was his own house-keeper and cook. 
In this latter capacity he had served on board ship 
at different times, and could make capital slapjacks 
and duff, with other delicacies known to sailors. 
Every year his house was opened to the hands 
who came salt-haying, and he fried their fish, com- 
pounded relishing chowders, and made their coffee, 
for which he had a delicious and secret recipe 
learned from a French cook. 

He had once been to the Banks of Newfound- 



land in command of a fishing schooner, and had 
thus won his title of skipper. Like all old sailors, 
he had a fund of stories literally true, although to 
landsmen they sounded like romances, which he, 
sailor-like, was fond of telling to any chance list- 
ener. After his long and lonely winter, varied only 
by an occasional trip to Dukesborough, the com- 
ing of summer, which brought not only the salt- 
haymakers but, later on, the sportsmen for game 
and fish, was thrice welcome. To all these his old 
time-gray house opened wide its doors, and not in- 
frequently every cranny was filled. 

On the evening of the day upon which the salt- 
haying party from Park's tavern arrived, he might 
have been seen sitting in one corner of the ample 
fireplace, in which a wood fire, rendered desirable 
by the chilly neighborhood of the sea, burned 
cheerfully, lighting up the dingy wainscoted old 
kitchen till it glowed like the heart of a damask 

In the opposite corner, in an old arm-chair that 
comfortably held the two, sat Dolly and Ned, list- 
ening in open-eyed wonder as Skipper Joe poured 
out a ceaseless tide of story a deal more fascinating 
than the " Arabian Nights," and only to be equal- 
led by the thrilling narrative of " Robinson Cru- 
soe," to which it bore a certain resemblance. 

" It was in th* autumn of 18 — ," he was saying, 
"'n I'd jest shipped on th' Chandler Price, Cap'n 
John R. Pease, bound on a whalin' v'y'ge. We 


sailed out o' Edgartown harbor with a fair wind, 
that kept astern of us till we run slap inter th' 
Doldrums, where th' Chandler Price wallered for 
ten days, more or less, pitch a-stewin' out o' her at 
ev'ry seam, sea like blue ile, an' th' whole air as 
thick an' steamy as Nancy Blake's kitchen on a 

" Waal, tiresome 'nough 'twas haulm' 'n bracin', 
'n tryin' t' ketch ev'ry little han'ful o' wind, th' 
sun a-blazin' down 'n makin' th' men sweat like 
porpuses, 'n th' rails 'n yards squirmin', as 'twere, 
in th' heat. As I said, this kep' up for ten days, 
more or less, 'n we lay t' th' nor'ards o' th' Line, 
waitin' 'n waitin', 'n one day pooty much like an- 
other, 'n th' Southern Cross a-hangin' jest above th' 
h'rizon at night. Ah !" — and Skipper Joe took his 
pipe out of his mouth, with a nod to Dolly, whose 
hazel eyes had darkened and brightened as she 
listened to his sailor-talk — " them stars beat your 
eyes, my little lass. It makes a man feel kind o' 
queer, a sailor-lad who b'lieves 'n them things, t' 
see that cross a-hangin' ther' night a'ter night. 

" 'N the sharks kep' round, jest as the pesky crit- 
ters will, hopin', I reckon, that we'd rot a hole 'n 
th' bottom o' th' Chandler Price 'n drop through 
inter their jaws. But they were destined t' disap- 
p'intment, for all 't once come a bust o' wind from 
the nor'-east that sent us spinnin', all sails set, with 
a screechin' wind astern, straight f th' whalin'- 
grounds. Wa'al, we were destined t' disapp'int- 



ment tew, 'n 'twas many a long day before we set 
eyes on them whalin'- grounds, an' this was how 

Here Skipper Joe paused to empty the ashes 
from his pipe and to refill it, settling back at last 
into his roundabout chair with the air of a man 
who has a congenial piece of work to do and means 
to do it. 

He was a short, fat man, with a face round and 
jolly as the full moon, which was completely en- 
circled with a growth of gray, stubbly beard and 
hair like a halo. He looked around upon his au- 
dience beamingly. Several of the men, to whom 
his stories were as familiar as their A B C's, and to 
one or two of them perhaps more so, were nodding 
and snoring outright. The remainder, to whom, 
as to Dolly and Ned, they had the charm of fresh- 
ness, were waiting patiently for him to take up the 
thread of his narrative, having meanwhile made 
use of the break to refill their pipes also. 
; " Wa'al, as I was a-sayin', we were destined t' dis- 
app , intment, ,, he resumed, repeating the sonorous 
phrase with evident relish. " For one morning 
what did th' man at th' lookout spy but a piece o' 
spar drifting 'n another 'n another, an' planks 'n 
ropes 'n casks, 'n then we knew ther' must 'a be'n 
a wreck, tho' ther* wa'n't nothin' put down no- 
wheres on the chart round about there f r any- 
body t' get wrecked on. An* so we began cruisin' 
f'r land, f'r Cap'n Pease wa'n't th' man t' leave 


a perishin' feller-critter, t' say nothin' 'bout a feller- 
seaman, 'n we cruised 'n cruised f'r six day 'thout 
seein' signs o' land, only this drift which stuck close 
t' th' Chandler Price with a kind o' feller-feelin' as 

" Wa'al, by that time the crew nat'rally began t' 
get uneasy thinkin' o' th' time lost an* their wage, 
an* so th' cap'n finally said, Clumbus-like, 'f land 
wan't sighted that day he'd give it up 'n steer f r 
th' whalin'-ground. Wa'al, 'twa'n't sighted, 'n that 
night th' Chandler Price was headed ag'in for th' 
whalin'-ground, 'n th' cap'n he went off t' his bunk 
ruther down 'n th' mouth ; an' now, mates," and 
here Skipper Joe took his pipe from his mouth, 
and, laying it on the jamb of the fireplace, looked 
solemnly from one to another, " comes th' queer- 
est part o' my yarn. Cap'n Pease was a prayin' 
man — he Ulieved in prayer ; an' long a'ter this he 
told a friend o' hisn that a'ter he'd turned in he 
couldn't sleep f'r thinkin' o* them poor shipwreck- 
ed critters, an' so he jest prayed t' th' Lord that 
'f they were alive he'd jest d'rect him which way 
t' steer, 'n he did ; f'r somewhere out o' th' night 
'n th* dark there come a voice sayin', ' Steer 
sou'-by-west,' 'n the cap'n, 'bedient like Paul t' th' 
heavenly vision, jumped out o' his bunk 'n rushed 
on deck, 'thout stoppin' t' put on his clothes, 'n 
shouted t' th' man at th' wheel, ' Head her sou'-by- 
west !' 'n th' steersman he said nothin', but jest 
kind o' stared 't th' old man, thinkin' he was crazy- 


like, 'n walkin' 'n his sleep; 'n then th' cap'n he jest 
shouts ag'in, ' Head her sou'-by-west,' 'n then he 
down with th' helm 'n steered sou'-by-west, 'n next 
mornin' at break o' day I'm jiggered 'f ther' wa'n't 
land a-lyin' sou*- by -west, as pooty a little coral 
island -s y' ever see, covered with cocoa-nut trees, 
'n a white shirt a-flyin' from th' tallest one — least- 
ways we l'arned 'twas a white shirt a'terwards, tho' 
't looked 's much like a white swab 's anything then. 
" The cap'n, a-smilin' kind o' ser'ous, thinkin' 
'bout the voice I reckon, looked thro' his glass 'n 
see a boy runnin' 'long th' beach t' th' other side 
o' th' island, 'n pooty soon he come ag'in with a 
dozen 'n more white men, all a-shoutin' 'n wavin' 
their hands, 'n d'rectin' us 'round th' other side o' 
th' island, where ther' was an openin' 'n th' reef. 
'N, mates, I've seen men 'n all succumstances o' 
grief 'n joy, but I never see men so crazy with joy 
's them men. They laughed 'n they hugged us 
when we come ashore, 'n they cried like babies. 
'N no wonder, when y' come t' think on't, f'r th' 
island was swarmin' with savages, 'n they'd divided 
th' men round, each fam'ly takin' care o' so many, 'n 
fed 'em on raw fish 'n cocoa-nuts. But th' cocoa- 
nuts was givin' out 'n pervisions gittin' scurse, 'n 
so th' savage critters had drawn lots 'mong 'em 
two 'r three times t' see which they'd kill. But 
ev'ry time the women — 'n women, mates, 're jest 
alike th' world over, alw'ys pitiful — th' women 
had throwed themselves between th' savages 'n th' 


men, 'n begged f r their lives, 'n so they'd spared 
'em. But the very next day a part o' 'em were t' 
be killed anyhow, f r the savages said they couldn't 
stand it any longer ; so we was jest 'n th' nick o' 
time, 's 'twere. 

" Wa'al, th' savage critters took advantage o' our 
necess'ties, 's civ'lized men will sometimes, 'n made 
the cap'n pay a good round sum f'r th' poor fellers. 
It took all the cap'n's tradin' stuff, tobacker 'n 
sech, 'n a good part o' the ship stores, t' ransom 
'em, 'n then we steered straight f'r th' S'ciety Isl- 
ands, f'r th' cap'n thought he'd find vessels there 
short o' hands, 'n then he could divide th' poor 
fellers among 'em, 'n so give us more sea -room 
aboard the Chandler Price ; but 'twa'n't t' be, 'n 
we kep' most o' them t' th' end o' th' v'y'ge. 
That resc'e cost Cap'n Pease two thousand dollars 
out o' his own pocket, 'n he never got a red cent 
of it back. But I reckon, mates, that when a man 
sets sail f'r his final port, the most val'able cargo 
he c'n carry 's a good deed like that." 

Here Skipper Joe's narrative ended. He dropped 
his head upon his breast and fell into a brown study. 
The fire burned low. It was late, and Ned went 
off to his bed, which consisted of a ship's hammock 
hung in the garret, and Dolly to hers, which was a 
sack of clean straw spread upon a cot in a closet- 
like room opening off Mrs. Park's bedroom ; and 
they were both shortly asleep, lulled by the boom- 
ing of the surf on the beach not far away. 



THE days that followed were halcyon days to 
Ned and Dolly. Skipper Joe supplied them with 
an old punt to paddle about in ; and as Mrs. Park 
insisted upon Dolly's learning to swim, if she and 
Ned were going about in a boat by themselves, 
Skipper Joe volunteered to teach her with Ned's 
help ; for Ned was, a perfect duck in the water, and 
could not have been a better swimmer even if he 
had had a Polynesian mother who had tossed him 
into the water when a baby, and so taught him to 
swim once for all by making him swim for his 

Ned was slightly offended because his mother 
thought it best for Skipper Joe to superintend 
Dolly's swimming lessons. 

"Just as if I couldn't teach Dolly to swim, 
mother! Just look here!" and he turned a som- 
ersault into the water and swam off, floating, plash- 
ing, leaping, and making as much commotion as a 
school of gambolling blue-fish. 

"Yes, you are a fine swimmer, Ned," said his 
mother, consolingly; "but I shall feel safer about 
Dolly to have two with her when she is learning." 


Dolly proved to be an apt pupil, and a very few 
lessons gave her confidence in her own powers ; 
and when Mrs. Park saw her going through the 
water, looking in her flannel bathing-dress like a 
blue, brown-haired mermaid fresh from the " cav- 
erns of the deep," and as much at home, apparent- 
ly, as the most accomplished mermaid could pos- 
sibly be, she bade good-by to all anxiety, and saw 
with perfect equanimity the two paddle away 
day after day in the old punt, to which they had 
given the somewhat incongruous name of the 

The Daisy was a shallow, flat -bottomed boat, 
looking like nothing so much as a dripping-pan 
with one end pointed. But these two could not 
have got more fun out of her if she had been a 
thorough-rigged, well-victualled steam-yacht ; not 
so much, in fact, for a steam -yacht could never 
have penetrated the narrow inlets and tiny streams 
that threaded these marshes like net-work. 

So Dolly and Ned paddled about in great con- 
tent, spearing crabs, catching cunners, dredging for 
shell-fish and sea-weed; sometimes sitting upon 
the edge of the Daisy, with their feet in the water, 
and disembarking now and then, when driven by 
hunger, to get up a private clam-bake. This was 
before the epoch of the Rhode Island clam-bake 
with which so many of us are familiar. But Dolly 
and Ned had read that delightful old bopk, " Rob- 
in's Journal among the Arabs," and knew the val- 


ue of hot stones ; so, with drift-wood they made a 
fire in a hole in the sand and heated their stones 
therein; then packed their clams and covered them 
with sea-weed, if not scientifically, yet with satis- 
factory results. And years after, when the grown- 
up Ned and Dolly did eat for the first time a real 
Rhode Island clam-bake, Ned paused as he was 
conveying his first clam to his mouth, and smiling 
roguishly said, " D' you remember, Dolly, our clam- 
bakes on the Marshfield ' mashes ?' " 

One day a couple of men came down from in- 
land with a cart for menhaden. These are small 
fish that are often driven up into shallow water 
by sharks. Dolly watched the men as they hauled 
them in by the hundreds. 

" Are they to eat?" she ventured to ask. 

" Bless y'r soul, no," was the grinning reply. 
"We use 'em fr manure. They're chock-full o' ile 
— tew greasy t' eat." 

" The squire told 'em 'bout 'em. They'd never 
'a found out," said Skipper Joe, contemptuously. 
(Dolly had learned by this time that the "squire" 
was Daniel Webster, whose farm lay near the 
marshes.) " They're fust-rate t' enrich the sile," 
he continued ; " but the wust o' 'em is, they breed 
a swarm o' pesky green flies, 'n the folks call 'em 
i Webster flies.' He [meaning Webster] is a mas- 
ter-hand fr knowin' everything. Knows 'bout 
everything that's wuth knowin', I reckon." 

It was one of these men who told Dolly the 



name of a queer -looking fish she saw one day 
prowling about in the shallow water, stirring up 
other tiny fish and swallowing them. It had a 
pair of wing-like fins attached just below its big 
head, and it ran about, apparently, on something 
that looked like orange-colored claws. 

" Them ?" said the man ; " them's grunters ; 'n 
some folks calls 'em sea-robins, 'n some Cape Cod 
ministers. ,, 

Dolly thought he was poking fun at her, though 
he spoke with the utmost gravity, but Skipper Joe 
assured her he was not. 

" When you catch 'em they grunt," explained 
Skipper Joe, " 'n that's why they call 'em grunt- 
ers ; 'n it's easy 'nough t' see why some folks call 
'em sea-robins ; but why they're called Cape Cod 
ministers 's more 'n I know. Some folks eat 'em, 
but some folks c'n eat anything," he added. 

Meanwhile the haymakers cut the salt grass and 
carried it in gundalows to the high lands to be 
cured. These gundalows were clumsy boats or 
barges, as unlike the graceful gondola in appear- 
ance as in name. Dolly and Ned occasionally took 
a sail in one of these gundalows on top of the salt 
grass, from which expedition they always went 
back with fresh pleasure to their beloved dripping- 
pan of a Daisy. 

Mrs. Park improved this bit of leisure out of her 
busy life with reading and sketching, and so the 
still sunny, early September days drifted by all too 


swiftly; and just two days before the end of the 
haying season an adventure which seemed a fitting 
close to this golden period, this cluster of red-let- 
ter days, befell our hero and heroine. 

These marshes consisted in part of vast level 
plains, over which the damp sea-breezes swept and 
the shrieking sea-gulls flew to and fro. These salt 
plains were inhabited by the kingfisher, the quawk, 
and the heron. The quawk, a bird with slender 
yellow legs and a long beak, fished at low tide for 
minnows and tiny crabs. He scarcely moved as 
the Daisy paddled noisily by, only looking up with 
reproach in his fishy eyes as the waves made by 
the passing boat swept out of his reach some 
dainty bit of garbage. 

These plains were varied with mounds, the work 
of the ocean in past ages, when these marshes were 
sandy beaches and fierce winds piled the sand in 
heaps. These heaps gradually hardened, and were 
held together by the roots of marine plants, and so 
in time became round, grassy hills. And while it 
might seem almost impossible for any one to be 
lost in the intricacies of the small streams which 
threaded these marshes, it was, after all, the easiest 
thing in the world, for they really formed a laby- 
rinth as bewildering as the famous one of Crete. 
The tide ebbed and flowed in these narrow streams, 
and not a few times the Daisy was stranded on a 
muddy bottom and had to wait for the incoming 
tide. At such times, however, Mrs. Park felt no 


anxiety at their prolonged absence, for, as 'Zekle 
sensibly remarked, " Nobody c'd git drownded 
where there wa'n't no water." 

Well, as I was saying, two days before the time 
fixed for their return to Byfield, Dolly and Ned 
went off after an early dinner for a row — a long 
afternoon row. " We must make the most of the 
time now, Dolly," said Ned, as they moved slowly 
along, Ned sculling, " for we shall have to go away 
day after to-morrow." 

" How I wish we could take the Daisy with us !" 
said Dolly, patting the dingy old punt affection- 

" 'Twould be no good if we did," replied Ned. 
" Mother wouldn't let us go on the pond, an' she's 
too big for the brook. I say, Dolly, I'll make a 
raft when we get back. A raft '11 sail in the brook 
first-rate, for I've tried it. I sailed down once 
'most to the saw-mill, an' came mighty near going 
over the dam. 'Most wish I had." 

" Oh, there's an eel !" shrieked Dolly, and seizing 
the spear which they always carried in the boat, 
she made a lunge, lost her balance, and went over 
into the tide mud, much to the discomfiture of the 
eel, which squirmed off in company with a dozen 
spider-crabs, that, like itself, were feeding on a 
dead quawk. It was not an unusual thing to hap- 
pen to Dolly, and Ned promptly helped her back 
into the boat, wiped off the mud with his pocket- 
handkerchief, and then, in an absent-minded fit, 


wiped his perspiring face on the same. Dolly's 
hat had tumbled off, and a fresh layer of mud was 
added to the accumulations of the previous ten 
days. The hat was originally white straw, trimmed 
with a pink ribbon, but the combined influences 
of sea-air and water, sun and mud, had sadly marred 
its pristine splendor. Dolly herself was as brown 
as a Marshpee Indian, and the clothes of the two 
were interesting as geological specimens with their 
daily deposits of varied dirt. Truly, an exceed- 
ingly grimy but very happy pair they looked. 

As they sculled they came within view of the 
sea. It was of a pale blue, a tint so exquisite that 
Ned dropped his oar and let the Daisy drift while 
they looked. The blue water seemed a long way 
off, and just above the water-line, silhouetted 
against the silvery horizon, a ship sailed slowly 
along with every sail set, even to the graceful sky- 

" Look, look, Ned !" exclaimed Dolly. " It sails 
in the air ! What is it ? Is it the Flying Dutch- 
man? Is it a ghost of a ship ?' ! 

" I think," replied Ned, slowly, '- it must be a 
mirage. Fve heard Skipper Joe talk about 'em, 
and don't you remember Robins saw 'em in the 
desert ? — not ships, but palms and springs, where 
there weren't no palms or springs. It's only a re- 
flection, that's what it is. The real ship ! — look 
quick, Dolly !" and Dolly, following the direction 
of Ned's finger, saw suspended high up in the air 


a big square-rigged vessel, and just above it anoth- 
er exactly like it, only inverted, the top-masts of 
the one touching the top-masts of the other. 

" Oh, it's like the enchanted horse in the ' Ara- 
bian Nights !' only it would be ever so much nicer 
to sail than to ride/' said Dolly. 

" I think I'd rather sail in the Daisy" said Ned, 
picking up his oar ; and then they waited till the 
mirage had faded, and nothing was to be seen but 
the pale-blue sea and the silvery horizon. 

Fleetest-footed of all those perfect days seemed 
this one, and before they were aware the sun was 
low in the west and it was time to go home. But 
when they began to take their bearings, and tried 
to decide in which direction the old Marchant 
House lay, they were completely puzzled. Ned 
went up on a mound to look, but he could see 
nothing save what appeared to be an endless reach 
of similar mounds. They hallooed, but nothing 
replied. Only the screams of the sea-gulls could 
be heard, and even these grew faint as the sun 
sank and they flew swiftly past to their nesting- 
place on some distant island. The two looked 
blankly at each other. 

" Well, this is a jolly go f ' was Ned's remark. 

" Do you think we shall have to stay all night 
on the marsh ?" asked Dolly, trying to look anx- 
ious, but really thinking it would not be such a 
bad thing, after all. 

" It looks like it," replied Ned, " unless Skipper 


Joe finds us ; an* I don't see how he can find us 
any better than we can find him.'' 

" The sand is nice and soft, and it w r on't hurt 
our clothes to sleep on it," said Dolly, looking her- 
self over critically. 

" And I say, Doily," put in Ned, " I can turn 
the Daisy over you bottom side up, to keep you 
warm, you know." 

" Oh, wouldn't that be fun !" exclaimed Dolly, 
clapping her hands, brown with tan and grimy 
with the experiences of the day. 

But it wasn't her destiny to spend the night on 
the " ma'sh," with the Daisy for a blanket. Even 
while they were talking they heard footsteps. A 
hat was seen rising over a sand-hill near by — a big 
slouched hat — and this was followed by a tall 
man bearing a gun on his shoulder, and carrying 
a pouch of game at his side, while an English 
pointer followed close by his heels. 

At the same instant Dolly whispered, " It's the 
man with the head like the State-house dome ;" 
and Ned, in a still more subdued tone with a shade 
of awe in it, "Halloo, Dolly, it's Daniel Webster!" 
Webster stopped as he caught sight of the pair. 
It was a queer group to come upon at dusk in 
these lonely marshes — the old punt, the tall, frank- 
faced, blue -eyed boy, the slender, girlish figure, 
with the clustering brown hair, nut-brown cheeks, 
and hazel eyes — queer but picturesque, flushed 
with the rosy hues of the after-glow. 


Webster looked an instant and then spoke. 
" Good -evening," he said. " May I ask who you 
are, and can I do anything for you ? Have you 
lost your way ?" 

" I am Edward Park, sir, ,, replied Ned, manfully, 
"and this is my cousin, Dorothea Winslow. ,, 

"Ah!" — and a sunny smile beamed forth from 
the cavernous black eyes — " then you are the son 
of my friend Park, of Byfield, and this " — turning 
to Dolly, and raising his old slouched hat with the 
same graceful deference he might have shown to a 
Russian princess or an English court lady — " and 
this is the little lady who attended our convention, 
and who so bravely frightened off the thieves. But 
may I ask how you chance to be here ?" 

" Weve got lost," replied Ned. " We're at the 
old Marchant House with my father and mother 
and the haymakers. Dolly and I are out with the 
boat. We've been out every day, but we never 
got lost before. Can you tell us which way to go 
and how far it is?" 

" I'm afraid it's a long way to the old Marchant 
House, too far for you to go at this late hour, and 
I doubt, with the evening coming on, if you could 
find it. The best thing for you to do will be to 
leave your boat here and go home with me. My 
house is not far, and I will send a man to Mrs. 
Park to let her know you are safe. Then you shall 
spend the night with me, and I count myself hap- 
py to have the opportunity of entertaining the son 



and niece of my old friend," he added, with that 
cordial hospitality which always put every one, 
old and young, at their ease. 

" Thank you," replied Ned, with a shade of hes- 
itation in his voice. He was not quite sure it waS 
the thing to do, but what else could he do? And 
as to Dolly, she glanced distressfully at her soiled 
frock, and was painfully conscious of her battered 
hat. But Webster did not wait. 

" This is the way," he said, walking on, " and, as 
I said, it is only a short distance." 

As they walked away, Dolly turned to look at 
the Daisy, where she lay high and dry, as the tide 
had left her while they were trying to find the di- 
rection of the Marchant House. It was like saying 
" farewell " to an old friend, for Dolly had a pre- 
sentiment that she would never see the Daisy 

" Good -by, dear old Daisy" she whispered to 
herself, as she hurried on after the two, who had 
got in advance of her while she lingered. 

They entered the house by a side door, and 
Dolly was at once consigned to a maid, who took 
her to a bedroom and assisted her in her toilet. 
She bathed her face dnd hands, brushed out her 
tangled curls into a fluffy mass of ringlets, and 
after having her shoes brushed and her dusty frock 
well shaken, she contemplated with much satisfac- 
tion her renovated figure in the tall pier-glass which 
enabled her to see herself from top to toe. The 


fresh lace in her frock, which Mrs. Park always in- 
sisted should go in every morning, whether Dolly 
was to pass the day in the parlor or in the woods, 
gave a lady-like finish to her dress. 
• " Yes, I think 111 do, after all," she said to her- 
self, with a sigh of relief. 

Ned had passed through very much the same 
experience in the hands of the personal attendant 
of his host, and the two, as they met in the parlor, 
exchanged smiles of congratulation. 

"You look first-rate," whispered Ned to Dolly, 
as they bent their heads together above a group 
of Japanese figures in ivory. " How did you man- 
age it ? girls have such a knack !" 

" I don't look a bit nicer than you," replied Dol- 
ly. " It must be the brushing." 

" And the soap and water," added Ned, and then 
they followed their host out to dinner. 

The dining-room was long and low-ceiled, with a 
circular sideboard of mahogany inlaid with holly. 
There were a few guests besides the family. Web- 
ster was very merry all through dinner. He had 
had a good day's shooting, and gave the history of 
his shots in detail, and told how he had met with 
two salt-haymakers with whom he had conversed 
a short time, and after he had turned away he 
heard one of them say, " Quite a sensible old fel- 
low, ain't he ?" The speaker had evidently not 
known him, and was struck by so much intelligence 
combined with such shabby clothes. Ned tried to 


imagine what his surprise might be should he ever 
learn that the " sensible old fellow " was the " great 

Just before helping to the joint of mutton which 
he had himself carved, Webster looked inquiringly 
at Ned's right-hand neighbor, a young man ad- 
dressed as " Port." 

" Yes, my name is Leathers," said Port, prompt- 
ly sending up his plate. 

" And so is mine," said his opposite neighbor, 

Webster, catching Ned's look of surprise, laugh- 
ed as heartily as a boy, and then told the story 
which has since grown so familiar through his 
biographies: how a family named Leathers, living 
in New Hampshire, for some good office rendered 
to the town, were each to have a pound of tobacco 
and a pint of rum by calling for them. The family 
was a very large one, but at last, so great was the 
number of applicants for the tobacco and rum, it 
was thought best to put the question, " Is your 
name Leathers ?" to each fresh applicant. The 
phrase had been adopted as a favorite byword 
with the Webster family and their familiar guests. 

After dinner Ned and Dolly, with the younger 
guests, went through the numerous rooms, look- 
ing at the choice bits of bric-a-brac and the pict- 
ures on the walls. The Webster mansion was — 
we speak of it in the past tense, as unhappily it 
was burned a few years ago — a rambling house, 


put together piecemeal, the fine library having 
been built by Webster and planned with the help 
of his daughter Julia. On the crowded walls Dolly 
espied a silhouette portrait in a small plain frame. 
This kind of portrait was made by cutting the out- 
lines of the head and face from paper, and framing 
the paper so cut over a bit of black silk. These 
portraits were of an era preceding that of daguerre- 
otypes and photographs. Under this silhouette 
was written, " My dear Mother. D. W." Dolly 
wondered a little that so plain and simple a por- 
trait should have a place among such fine paint- 
ings, not having yet learned that our most valued 
possessions are often the portraits, however simple, 
of those who have loved us. 

In the library a wood- fire burned in the open 
fireplace, and through the window over the mantle 
Webster pointed out the ancient burial-ground, or 
" God's acre," where, as he told them, Peregrine 
White is buried — Peregrine White, the baby born 
on the Mayflower ', whose shivering little figure you 
may see to-day in the painting of the Landing of 
the Pilgrims, in Pilgrim Hall, Plymouth. There, 
too, lies Edward Winslow, one of the early gov- 
ernors of Plymouth, "who is my ancestor," said 
Dolly, with pardonable pride. Webster smiled 
upon her as she said it, and said himself that " a 
noble ancestry was a better inheritance than price- 
less gems." He told her that he had caused the 
trees to be cut and trimmed so as to give him this 


view of the distant burial-ground, which Dolly- 
thought a queer thing to do, though of course she 
did not say so. 

On either side the chimney hung life-size, full- 
length portraits of Webster and Lord Ashburton. 
Lord Ashburton, one of the guests told Dolly as 
he saw her looking at him attentively, was associ- 
ated with Webster in the defining of boundaries 
between Canada and the United States, and Dolly 
" made a note of it," like Captain Cuttle, and se- 
cretly resolved to read more history. 

That was a marvellous evening, one never to be 
forgotten by our Dolly and Ned. The firelight 
played over the walls of the spacious library, mak- 
ing fantastic shadows, while the guests listened to 
the voice which had held spellbound so many 
thousands. Webster talked a good deal about the 
older English writers with one of his guests, a dis- 
tinguished literary gentleman, and recited in his 
wonderful voice almost the whole of Goldsmith's 
" Deserted Village ;" and Dolly dates from that 
evening a love for those older writers which has 
proved a solace under many adverse circumstances. 

"And now," said Webster, the next morning 
after they had breakfasted, " we'll go out to the 
barn and look at the cattle." 

The night before, what with the dusk and the 
embarrassment of their arrival, Dolly and Ned had 
scarcely noticed the outside of the house. As they 
stepped out into the gravelled walk, and looked 


about them, it seemed very pleasant and home-like 
in the morning sunlight, with its many gables and 
cosey verandas. At one corner of the house stood 
a magnificent elm of great girth and height, whose 
pendent branches swept the green turf. In its 
shade was a rustic chair, a favorite seat of Webster's. 

Dolly uttered a cry of delight as they entered 
the breezy, hay-scented barn, and Webster turned 
with a smile of pleasure as he heard her. 

" So you like barns and cattle as well as I do," 
he said, and Dolly blushed and dimpled to be 
placed in the same category with so distinguished 
a man, if it were only as a lover of cattle. 

The beautiful cattle, with their soft, beseeching 
eyes and sleek coats, were standing patiently in 
their stalls. (The Greeks knew what beautiful 
eyes were, and they called their great goddess the 
ox-eyed Juno.) As Webster pulled down from the 
mows handfuls of succulent corn -fodder and fed 
them, calling attention to their fine points, he said 
to Ned, humorously, " As I tell Fletcher, they are 
the best of company, a good deal better than any 
I find in the Senate Chamber." And any one could 
see that he had a genuine love for the fine creat- 

They lingered long in the barn, for the master 
seemed loath to go, although the young Jackson 
and Port waxed impatient to be gone on their 
fishing trip to Cut River, for which the boat on the 
pond in the rear of the house was being got ready. 


But Webster had to take a look at his hens, and 
count the eggs laid during the morning. At last 
they went out again into the sunshine, and Web- 
ster pointed out to Dolly the hill where his favor- 
ite horses were buried — "with all the honors of 
war," he said, "standing upright, with halters and 
shoes on." One of these horses was named " Wil- 
mot Proviso." 

When word had been sent to Mrs. Park of the 
whereabouts of Dolly and Ned, a message had also 
been added that they would be returned the next 
morning. So in due time the barouche, with its 
span of black horses, was brought to the door, and 
the last glimpse of Webster, as they went down the 
drive, showed him in the act of taking a flying leap 
over the fence in competition with the young 

To this charming adventure there was just one 
drawback. As she had feared, Dolly never saw the 
Daisy again; but a water-color of it, executed at a 
later day from memory, now hangs in her cosey of 



" HOW is the Little Madam ?" Dolly had heard 
Skipper Joe ask of Mrs. Park one day when they 
were at the Marchant House. 

" She's as well and happy as usual/' was the 

"Jest the same here, I s'pose," he continued, 
touching his forehead significantly. 

"Just the same." 

" Well, it's queer — queer," said Skipper Joe, med- 
itatively. " Don't never sense nothin' o' what's 
happened. It's queer — dum queer." 

So when Dolly heard one morning a buzzing as 
though a swarm of honey-bees had taken posses- 
sion of the dancing-hall, and opening the door and 
peeping in saw a little woman spinning off in the 
south-east corner who looked exactly like a pict- 
ure, just as though she might have stepped that 
moment out of Grimm's fairy tales, she knew at 
once, by a sort of intuition, that this was the Little 

This small woman was exceedingly small, short 
as well as slight ; her skin was dark, a clear, soft 
dark, and she had black, velvety eyes, with long 


eyelashes, and small hands and feet, smaller than 
Dolly's. She wore over her black hair a kind of 
mantle of white muslin, which framed her face like 
a nun's coif, and was crossed upon her bosom. Her 
scanty gown was white, too, a peculiarity which 
specially struck Dolly in a latitude where white was 
reserved for church-going and other state occasions. 

She was stepping briskly back and forth by the 
side of her spinning-wheel, drawing out the long 
thread, and then with the reverse motion of her 
wheel winding it upon the spindle back and forth, 
like a true fairy godmother. The sunbeams fell 
athwart the wheel and the reel and the tiny trip- 
ping figure, and it all did really look so much like 
a picture that might dissolve any moment, like the 
mirage of the Marshfield marshes, that Dolly did 
not venture to speak lest it might vanish. The 
little woman seemed busy with happy thoughts, 
for she smiled to herself as she crooned a song, 
the air of which was sweet, but the words were 

Altogether, Dolly's curiosity was deeply excited ; 
and as she softly closed the door and ran down- 
stairs to find Ned, the first words she said to him 

" Who is that little woman in the hall ?" 

" The Little Madam," replied Ned, just as Dolly 
expected, and pegging away on the kite he was 

" And who is the Little Madam ?" queried Dolly ; 


" and how did she come — on a broom, or in a pump- 
kin-shell coach with mice for horses?" 

"Halloo! what's up?" exclaimed Ned, looking 

" I wish you'd tell zvho the Little Madam is, and 
where she came from, and all about her. I never 
knew a thing about her till this minute, and where 
have you kept her hid?" 

" Hid !" ejaculated Ned, bewildered. " Why, she 
lives on Hemlock Island." 

" And where, for pity's sake, is Hemlock Island? 
Oh, Ned, Ned ! I'm dying with curiosity to know 
all about her, and do put up that old kite and tell 
me — a good long yarn, like one of Skipper Joe's." 

Ned laughed good-naturedly. "I can spin my 
yarn and work on my kite too, Dolly ; and I do 
suppose she looks queer to you. But I'm used to 
her, you know. I've known her almost ever since 
I've known anybody. But there isn't much of a 
story. Only Skipper Joe picked her up at sea 
somewhere, drifting round in an old boat or some- 
thing, an' brought her to mother ; an' she's sort o' 
crazy — don't know who she is herself, nor where 
she lived, nor what happened to her, nor anything. 
She likes to be by herself, so father lets her live 
in his old house on Hemlock Island ; and she's 
learned to spin, and spins for folks, an' knits, an' 
winters she lives here." 

" Not much of a story, Ned ! I should think 
so, indeed ! Why, she might be a princess, a real 


princess. Picked up drifting in a boat — oh, it's 
splendid ! Say, Ned," said Dolly, coaxingly, " take 
me down to Hemlock Island, will you ?" 

"All right," replied Ned. 

The Little Madam did not dine with the family 
that day. Her dinner, such as she liked — a potato 
salad, a glass of milk, and a custard — was taken 
up to her by Thankful herself, who remarked as 
she walked off with the tray, " She's a poor loony 
cretur', one o' them folks mentioned in Scriptur', 
I reckon — them that's hungry, 'n sick, 'n in pris- 
on." Thankful never waited upon people whom 
she considered able to wait upon themselves, and 
seemed to consider an apology necessary for so 

The early morning of the next day saw Dolly 
and Ned on their way to Hemlock Island. There 
was a third person with them — I think we may 
call him a person. The stage which brought Dol- 
ly's trunks from Boston brought him also. He 
was walking along by Dolly's side, with Dolly's 
hand upon his tawny head and a look of supreme 
content in his intelligent eyes. This third person 
was a magnificent St. Bernard, Dolly's playmate 
in her cradle and her faithful friend and servitor 
ever since. He had fished her out of the frog- 
pond on the Common in her later babyhood, into 
which she had fallen while Nora her nurse was 
just a-speakin' with her friend, a neighboring coach- 
man, and he had badly bitten an old woman who 


attempted to kidnap her once upon a time when 
she had wandered off down Joy Street. 

The road to Hemlock Island was a true by-way, 
a serpentine lane which ran part of the way be- 
tween high grassy banks overrun with wild vines 
and flowering herbs like an English lane, and part 
of the way was shaded by trees of hickory and 
pine. Why called Hemlock Island is a mystery, 
unless it was because no hemlocks grew there ; 
neither was it an island : it was a promontory mak- 
ing out into Wintuxet Lake, and it had a fine 
growth of wood, with extensive pasturage, where 
large herds of cattle and flocks of sheep grazed 
through the summer. 

Around the enclosure wherein stood the Little 
Madam's dwelling a hundred cattle were placidly 
feeding that day. The lane came to an end in the 
Little Madam's front yard. The house was small, 
consisting of one room, besides a bedroom and 
lean-to, and it was a perfect bower of a nest, being 
entirely overgrown with woodbine, with the ex- 
ception of the windows and door, even to the 
chimney-top, from which a long streamer waved 
like a ship's pennant. Morning-glories blossomed 
out from the woodbine, and the Little Madam's 
love of flowers betrayed itself in a perfect burst of 
bloom on either side of the path leading from the 
gate to the door. 

The Little Madam was not the first exile, if exile 
she may be called, who had found shelter in this 


quiet spot. To the west of her dwelling, in the 
pasture, was an old well, around which the " Bounc- 
ing Bets," or more politely speaking, the " French 
Pinks," ran riot, and hard by a slight depression 
in the turf indicated the spot where once stood the 
dwelling of an exiled family from Acadie. The 
family had planted a garden there, and the place 
was and is known to this day as " the French Gar- 
den." Perhaps Longfellow's Evangeline found a 
brief resting-place here — who knows? 

As Dolly and Ned entered the wide-open door, 
a voice, a soft muffled voice, said, " How do ! how 
do ! Shake hands !" and immediately the owner of 
the voice, an imperial white Australian cockatoo, 
erected his canary-colored crest, opened wide his 
wings, and uttered a loud, hoarse cry. 

"He doesn't like Gaston — he's afraid of him, 
Dolly," said Ned. 

" Gaston, go out and lie down," said Dolly ; and 
with an indignant look at the cockatoo as the cause 
of his expulsion, Gaston walked out with true ca- 
nine dignity, and lay down on the door-step in the 


"What a lovely, queer-looking place!" said Dol- 
ly, looking around. The cockatoo had subsided, 
and from his perch was bowing graciously, hold- 
ing out his claw and saying, " Shake hands, shake 

Ned took his claw, when again he shrieked, 
elevating his crest and opening wide his wings. 


" He's showing off, now; he wants you to admire 
him," said Ned. 

" Pretty cockatoo ! pretty cockatoo !" laughed 
Dolly, and thereat he sprang upon her wrist and 
bestowed a kiss, a true sibilant kiss, upon her pout- 
ing lips, and before she could remonstrate he was 
back upon his perch, chuckling audibly, and saying, 
" Pretty cockatoo ! pretty cockatoo ! Kiss me, kiss 

His second scream had brought in the Little 
Madam, somewhat flushed and breathless, from her 

" Ah, it is you, my good Ned, is it?" she said. 
" I feared the bad boy. Bad boy tease my pretty 
cockatoo." She held out her hand and the bird 
sprang upon it, making soft, cooing sounds the 
while, and caressing her with his beak and wings. 

" Skipper Joe brought it to her, Dolly," said 

" Yes, Skipper Joe ; he my good friend," said the 
Little Madam. She did not talk much, but looked 
smilingly from Ned to Dolly, and brought out a 
plate of pink-cheeked peaches and purple grapes 
for them. She had a bewildered, seeking look in 
her beautiful eyes, as though she might be seeking 
for that lost life of hers, and Dolly became so ab- 
sorbed watching her as she sat with crossed hands, 
now smiling, now falling into a reverie, that she 
quite forgot the peach she was eating. But Ned, 
to whom the Little Madam was a more familiar 


object, ate the fruit with boyish appetite, and emp- 
tied the plate. 

The room, which was an unusually large room, 
— as well it might be, being the only one — had the 
same dainty characteristics as its mistress. The 
Little Madam herself and the cockatoo gave to 
it a foreign air. Boxes of sweet-scented flowers 
bloomed in the windows, which drew the bees that 
buzzed in and out, and about the Little Madam fa- 
miliarly, lighting on her nun's coif. An immense 
gray, basket-like fungus, which the Little Madam 
must have found in some of her wood rambles, 
was nailed against the wall and filled with wild 
vines, which grew thriftily in this apparently con- 
genial atmosphere. 

There seemed to be a secret understanding be- 
tween this little lady and what we human beings 
are pleased to call the dumb creation — the birds, 
the insects, the beasts. But are they really dumb ? 
Does not each kind have a language which we in 
our ignorance cannot understand ? Did not Gas- 
ton speak when he roused from his sleep, walked 
up to the Little Madam, and put his big tawny 
head under her little brown hand ? This was as 
plain as human speech. It said, " I trust you," 
and so Dolly interpreted it. 

" See Ned I" she exclaimed, " Gaston never takes 
to strangers — he hates to have them touch him ; 
and there he is asking the Little Madam to pat 


For days Dolly could not get the thought of her 
out of her mind. 

" She isn't really crazy, is she, Auntie ?" she asked 
one day, returning again to the exhaustless topic. 

" No/' was Mrs. Park's reply. " She has simply 
forgotten everything up to a certain time." 

" And what do you suppose made her, Auntie? 
Ned says Skipper Joe found her drifting in a boat." 

" Yes ; a ship on which Skipper Joe was first mate 
picked her up somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. 
Of course they could find out nothing by her, be- 
cause she remembers nothing. That was ten years 
ago. She has learned to speak English tolerably 
well, and she never speaks anything else, though 
she sings foreign songs which Skipper Joe says are 
Portuguese. Skipper Joe brought her here to me. 
She is fond of being out-of-doors, and used to wan- 
der off in summer-time, till your Uncle Harry fit- 
ted up the old house for her. She seems very hap- 
py there." 

" But, Auntie, it must be very lonely down there," 
continued Dolly. " Isn't she ever afraid ?" 

" She is not like others, you must remember, 
Dolly ; she does not know what fear is. Though 
lately I have seen some signs of it, and I am a lit- 
tle troubled about some things of which, if I tell 
you, Dolly, you must not speak." 

" Oh no, indeed !" said Dolly, rapturously, charm- 
ed, as most of us are, at the prospect of a secret 
being imparted to our keeping. 



'* I suppose/' continued Mrs. Park, " she is, or 
rather was, a Catholic, and some ignorant people 
here have found it out and profess to look upon 
her with horror. And some troublesome boys, 
who only want an excuse for doing so, have been 
teasing her lately. That was what she meant by 
* bad boy/ We could stop the boys teasing her 
if it were not for some older people who ought to 
know better. ,, 

" Oh, what a shame !" exclaimed Dolly, indig- 
nantly. " What a mean, mean thing to tease such 
a helpless little woman!" 

" My dear Dolly," replied Mrs. Park, with that 
wisdom we gain by experience, " that is the very 
reason they tease her, because she is helpless. Cow- 
ards do not dare to touch those who are able to 
defend themselves/' and Dolly was silent for some 

" Well, she has some good friends any way," 
she said at last — "you and Uncle and Skipper Joe 
and Thankful." 

" And Thankful is a host in herself," replied Mrs. 
Park, smiling ; " and you must watch over her too, 
Dolly. Go and see her often ; she seems to have 
taken a great liking to you and Gaston." 

And Dolly was proud of the trust reposed in 



Among the contents of the trunks sent down to 
Dolly from Boston was a copy of " Ivanhoe," bound 
in drab boards. Now " Robin's Journal among the 
Arabs " was bound in dingy leather. So Ned knew 
from experience that very good things may have 
a homely or even rough exterior, like a watermel- 
on or a chestnut. He opened the book and began 
to read aloud. 

" ' In that pleasant district of Merry England 
which is watered by the river Don, there extended 
in ancient times a large forest, covering the great- 
er part of the hills and valleys which lie between 
Sheffield and the pleasant town of Doncaster.' ' 

And Dolly sank down among the litter of things 
which she had tumbled out of her two trunks to 
listen, and there Aunt Anna found them at the 
end of three hours, in animated talk, having just 
finished the tenth chapter, which closes with 
Gurth's meeting with Rebecca in the house of 
Isaac of York. 

" Rebecca is a trump," remarked Ned, summing 
up in that expressive word the universal feeling in 
regard to the beautiful Jewess. 


" And isn't the Disinherited Knight splendid ? 
I wonder how he came out the next day. I should 
so like to see a tournament, Ned. Oh, do read on !" 
said Dolly, her cheeks aglow with excitement. 

" After dinner/' said Aunt Anna — " dinner is 
ready now." And after dinner it was, for they went 
up into the hay-mow and read till it was time to 
fetch the cows home ; and if they did not, like 
Thackeray when he was a school-boy, sit up far 
into the night to follow the fortunes of Rebecca, 
it was only because they were not allowed to do 
so. Mr. and Mrs. Park had gone to Plymouth 
for the night, and Thankful found the two after 
ten o'clock still reading, and swooped them off 
to bed, right in one of the most thrilling parts of 
the story, where Rebecca throws down her em- 
broidered glove, exclaiming, 

" God will raise me up a champion. It cannot 
be that in Merry England, the hospitable, the gen- 
erous, the free, where so many are ready to peril 
their lives for honor, there will not be found one 
to fight for justice. But it is enough that I chal- 
lenge the trial by combat — there lies my gage." 

" Oh, Thankful, it's too bad to make us go to 
bed now. Do let us just find out how Rebecca 
came out. Just read ahead a little bit and see, 
Ned. Only ten minutes, Thankful, please," plead- 
ed Dolly, as eager for the fray as the most accom- 
plished knight could possibly have been. 

But Thankful was inexorable, and Ned, running 


his eye over a page or two, and announcing that 
it looked as though it would take a hundred pages 
" to get Rebecca out of the scrape," Dolly went 
off reluctantly to bed, and dreamed that she was 
the Disinherited Knight, and had a joust with 
Thankful, wearing a brass kettle for a helmet 
and carrying a mince-pie for a shield, and Thank- 
ful, having received her death-blow, was suddenly 
transformed into the lovely Rowena, and crown- 
ed the Disinherited Knight with a wreath of cab- 

As to Ned, he awoke 'Zekle, who slept in an ad- 
joining room, in the dead of the night, by shouting, 
" Saint George for Merry England ! To the rescue ! 
to the rescue!" and pommelling the head -board 
violently. And it was " a marcy," as Thankful re- 
marked the next morning, " that he didn't get his 
death a-readin' novils," for 'Zekle, only half awake, 
and possessed with the idea that burglars were en- 
tering the house in the absence of its master, got 
out his gun, heavily loaded with small shot for 
crows, and was just upon the point of firing it off 
in the direction of the pommelling when his brain 
cleared and he became aware that the voice was 

Thankful indulged in many more disrespectful 
remarks concerning " novils " the next morning 
while frying their favorite pancakes for breakfast, 
but Ned audaciously brought out " Ivanhoe " into 
the very kitchen itself, and he and Dolly finished 


it comfortably on the settle, and were pleased to 
remark that Thankful did not close the door be- 
tween the kitchen and the buttery, where she was 
mixing a batch of dough-nuts. Indeed, her ordi- 
narily heavy step seemed to grow lighter as she 
stepped from the buttery to the frying-kettle, back 
and forth, and she held her skimmer suspended a 
moment in mid-air at that consummate moment 
where, his helmet being removed, Brian de Bois 
Gilbert is found to be dead, and the Grand Master, 

" This is indeed the judgment of God. Fiat vo- 
luntas tua!' 

" That's so !" said Thankful, lowering her skim- 
mer and scooping the dough-nuts from the kettle 
en masse. 

Thankful did not understand Latin, so her fer- 
vent response must have been to the sentiment ex- 
pressed in English ; and Thankful was apt to look 
upon the misfortunes of mankind in general as 

Ned read the closing chapter and kept his voice 
bravely firm, while Dolly wept openly and copious- 
ly, and Thankful dropped a furtive -tear into the 
frying-kettle. At least Ned said so, and the fat 
spluttered and sizzled suspiciously. 

" Rebecca's wuth a dozen o' that set-up Rowe- 
na," remarked Thankful, as Ned closed the book, 
and Dolly drew a long sigh. " An' I reckon Ivaner 
thought so, only he couldn't help himself. Things 


is unaccountably mixed 'n this world. I reckon 
she hen-pecked him well. She's jest the kind t' 
dew it." With which sentiments we most of us, 
including the immortal Thackeray, doubtless agree. 

" Wouldn't it be fun to have a tournament, 
Ned?" Dolly said more than once during the days 
that followed the reading of " Ivanhoe." For 
nothing in that entertaining book seemed to have 
taken such hold upon her imagination as the fa- 
mous tournament at Ashby-de-la-Zouche. " And if 
we only had another horse we'd have one, wouldn't 
we, Ned ?" she said, confidentially, as the two were 
riding old Bill down to water one day. 

" Gaston wouldn't make a bad horse," she con- 
tinued, looking down at the noble fellow, who, as 
usual, was following closely in the wake of his be- 
loved mistress ; " but he isn't half big enough. 
Oh dear ! can't you think of some way, Ned ?" 

" We might take the saw-horse or clothes-horse, 
Dolly. I'm sure I can't think of anything else," 
replied Ned, in despair. " I'm afraid Dapple or 
Sukey wouldn't do. There's too much go to 'em, 
an' we should catch it if anything happened to 

" Oh no, of course not," replied Dolly, virtuous- 
ly, but secretly wondering whether one of them 
could not be made to " do," after all. 

But Dolly was saved from the probable conse- 
quences of riding Sukey in a tournament by a 
most happy happening. For things do some- 


times happen just right in real life, as well as in 

Her birthday was approaching — her thirteenth 
birthday. In fact, it was near at hand, and at last 
it dawned ; and the sun, as he thrust his red face 
through a cloud of golden mist, sent a quivering 
dart betwixt the curtain and the window-frame of 
Dolly's bedroom, and touched her eyelids with a 
" Good-morning, my dear ; it's your birthday, and 
it's time to get up." 

Was it the sun, or Aunt Anna, or only a dream ? 
As Dolly, not yet quite out of dream-land, was 
trying to solve this question, she was thoroughly 
aroused by Ned, who knocked at her door and 
called out, in a voice of suppressed excitement, 
" Hurry up, Dolly ! oh, hurry up, do ! If you only 
kn — " Here a hand was evidently clapped over 
his mouth — the hand of his mother, in fact — who 
laughingly said, 

" Now, Ned, I told you so ! It'll pop out be- 
fore you know it. Come with me ; it's the only 
safe thing to do;" and she dragged him off pro- 

" Now, mother, you know I can keep a secret 
a thousand times better than you or any other 
woman," he said, saucily. " I only wanted to 
sharpen Dolly's curiosity. But I say, isn't it — " 
Here his mother's hand went over his mouth 

" There ! you see, Ned, it's no use. Dolly will 


hear you, and the cat'll be out of the bag unless 
you're gagged ;" and she slipped half a melocotoon 
peach into his mouth, which effectually stopped 
the tide of speech. 

Dolly had heard, and her curiosity was sharp- 
ened to a degree that would have sufficiently grat- 
ified Ned could he have witnessed it. She hurried 
with her dressing ; but everything was perverse. 
Her hair twisted into knots ; she pulled on a 
stocking wrong side out, and an impatient jerk 
broke the lacing of her shoe ; then an important 
button flew off. She stopped to sew it on, and, 
as a fitting finale to this chapter of accidents, ran 
the needle deep into her finger. 

"Oh dear! oh dear!" she exclaimed, sucking 
the wounded member. " ' Haste makes waste/ 
Thankful says, and I should think so. It's just 
like a dream ; the more I hurry the less I get on." 

But at last she was in order, from the snood of 
blue ribbon in her hair to the carefully tied lacing 
of each slender shoe ; and as she walked into the 
breakfast - room with a sunny " Good -morning!" 
Uncle Harry was sure no bonnier lassie could have 
been found that day throughout the length and 
breadth of New England, and indeed, for that 
matter, he might have safely challenged the whole 
United States. 

" Many happy returns of the day, my dear !" he 
said, as she took her seat at the table, while Ned 
remained suspiciously intent upon the buckwheats 


he was devouring at a rate that ordinarily would 
have called out a remonstrance from his mother. 

The breakfast - room that morning seemed 
charged with an atmosphere at once delightful 
and provoking. Conversation flagged. Nobody 
seemed possessed of ideas on any subject except 
some forbidden one. Aunt Anna cast looks of 
warning at Ned and interchanged meaning glances 
with Uncle Harry ; and the latter, in a fit of ex- 
treme absent-mindedness, poured the sirup over 
his bacon, and said, " No, my love," when 'Zekle 
came in to ask if he should take the oxen to 
Plympton to be shod after breakfast. 

The breakfast - table stood in what was called 
the inner kitchen, and Thankful, as she put on 
fresh cakes and dispensed cream and maple-sirup, 
wore the inscrutable air of a Yankee sphinx. Ab- 
sorbed in her riddle, she even neglected to snub 
'Zekle, as he came in bringing a pound of dirt on 
each foot, which he distributed liberally about the 
kitchen. He, too, was evidently laboring under 
the weight of some mighty secret, or he never 
would have so forgotten the habits of neatness 
into which Thankful, after many years of persist- 
ent effort, had trained him. Indeed, Dolly shrewdly 
suspected that, after all, the oxen didn't need shoe- 
ing, and his inquiry was only a pretext to come in. 

At last Ned finished his tenth buckwheat, and 
pushed back his chair, just as Dolly was thinking 
that she could not stand it another minute. 


" May I be excused, mother ?" he asked. 

" Certainly," replied his mother, significantly, 
and he was out of the kitchen in a twinkling, 
while Gaston, upon whose tail he had trodden in 
his haste, set up a howl of remonstrance. 

A profound, expectant silence, broken only by 
Gaston's plaintive x moans, succeeded. For a brief 
moment you might have almost heard a fly wink. 
Then the door of the outer kitchen opened, a cu- 
rious clatter as of brisk feet was heard, the door 
of the inner kitchen swung back, and Ned entered, 
leading a black Shetland pony, '" all saddled and 
bridled/' who, as she stepped daintily over the 
braided rugs which strewed the floor, looked as 
much at home as though she had had a house of 
her own, and a breakfast-table to sit down to reg- 
ularly every day of her life. From the pony's 
bridle hung a card, which Ned, leading her up to 
Dolly, detached and presented with a low bow. 

" Feed me, curry me, ride me, and love me. My 
name is Skatta," was on one side, and on the oth- 
er was written, a A birthday gift for our dear 
daughter Dorothea, from papa and mamma." 

" Old Bill won't have to carry two any more," 
said Ned, not waiting for Dolly to speak, who at 
first struggled between a desire to cry and to laugh 
at the same time — between pleasure over her birth- 
day gift and regret for the absent father and moth- 
er. But Skatta made a diversion, and saved Dolly 
from the hysterical combination by thrusting her 


nose into the wide-mouthed sugar-bowl and tak 
out a lump. 

"Jump on, Dolly, do, right here," said Ned. 
" Mayn't she, mother?" and Dolly with one spring 
was on Skatta's back and the reins in her hands. 
" Look out for your head !" said Ned, as they went 
out, Thankful and 'Zekle ranging themselves on 
either side of the kitchen -door like a guard of 

" Oh, isrit she lovely, Ned?" said Dolly, getting 
her voice at last. " And wasn't it good of papa 
and mamma?" 

" I always knew Uncle Malcolm was a brick !" 
was Ned's emphatic reply. 

Skatta was next put through her paces and pro- 
nounced " perfect." 

" And now, Ned," said Dolly, as she reined her 
up by the horse-block, " we can have our tourna- 
ment," and Ned, nothing loath, assented. 



The spot selected for the tournament was the 
old muster-field in the rear of the meeting-house. 
This field was completely shut in on the west by 
a thick woods ; the meeting-house and parochial 
horse -sheds screened it from observation on the 
highway side ; the winding lane leading to the Lit- 
tle Madam's lay along its eastern border, and its 
southern extremity was lost in Hemlock Island. 
Altogether it was a secluded spot, exactly fitted 
for a nineteenth-century tournament. 

Considerable time was necessarily spent in prep- 
aration. The important question of armor had first 
to be settled, and it proved to be a somewhat diffi- 
cult as well as important question. In the little 
vignette on the title-page of the drab " Ivanhoe " 
was a mounted knight, knight and horse being 
both in complete armor. Skatta promptly settled 
the question of armor so far as she was concerned, 
when Dolly attempted to strap a tin pot-cover on 
her breast, by standing on her hind feet and snort- 
ing a vigorous protest. " Well, never mind," said 
Dolly ; " i Ivanhoe ' doesn't say anything about 
horse's armor, and we won't have any." 

78 the Children of old Mark's tavern. 

Great difficulty attended the finding of proper 
helmets. Ned suggested tin pails, brass kettles, 
and even the culinary iron pots, much to Dolly's 
disgust, for Ned did not take the tournament so 
seriously as she did. He saw the absurdity of it, 
and was disposed to view it in a comic light, al- 
though he pronounced it "jolly fun." At last a 
compromise was made with pasteboard. Dolly, 
who had a knack at cutting out things, fashioned 
two very tolerable helmets of pasteboard, covered 
with black cambric, which certainly looked like 
the genuine thing, although they would not stand 
hard thrusts. 

As to breastplates, the covers surreptitiously un- 
hinged from a couple of brass warming-pans which 
hung in the garret made capital ones, really quite 
pretty in effect. Ned manufactured two slender 
lances out of birch, and a pair of tin pot -covers 
served as shields. These pot -covers, be it said, 
were taken from the kitchen during Thankful's ab- 
sence, as both Dolly and Ned had an unspoken 
feeling that this matter of the tournament had bet- 
ter be kept from the knowledge of the elders. 

The armor of the two lenights, at last complete, 
was taken over one night at dusk and hidden un- 
der a low clump of birches in Bailey's Bowl. J Then 
the two, starting out the next morning, ostensibly 
for a ride to the Little Madam's and thence to the 
Ridge pasture for hickory-nuts, made a detour and 
arrived at Bailey's Bowl by way of Hemlock Island. 


This Bowl was a deep, round depression in the 
western part of the muster-field, not deep enough 
to be called a valley. It seems that in early colo- 
nial times the people used to walk from Bridge- 
water to Plymouth to attend church, or, rather, 
" meeting," an almost incredible fact, when we re- 
member that the distance by the Indian trail — 
much of the highway to-day is that same old trail 
— was eighteen miles. 

They started on Saturday, and encamped Satur- 
day and Sunday nights on this muster-field, which 
is therefore historic ground. And once upon a 
time one of their number, named Bailey, hungry 
from the long march, said, as he looked into the 
depths of the Bowl, " I wish it was ful[ of bean- 
porridge." Hence the name of Bailey's Bowl. 

Our two nineteenth-century knights, having no 
esquires to equip them, as did the knights of old, 
were obliged to put on their own armor, mutually 
helping. The handles of the pot -covers were a 
tight fit, and Dolly's plump arm was squeezed more 
than was agreeable, but she bore the discomfort 
manfully, as became a brave knight about to do 
battle for his " faire ladye." Skatta shied at the 
unwonted appearance of her young mistress, but 
old Bill, more experienced, looked placidly on, not 
surprised at any freak of these two, and utterly 
regardless of the clashing tin and brass as Ned 
mounted his back. 

" I do hope he won't balk," said Dolly, anxious- 


ly. Old Bill had a trick of balking at the critical 
moment of starting, and nothing would make him 
go but a handful of ashes crowded into his mouth. 
Whether he thought by going on he should leave 
the bad taste behind, or whether in thinking about 
the ashes he forgot to stand still, it is impossible 
to say. As 'Zekle replied, when asked if he knew 
the philosophy of it, 

" D' know nothin' 'bout y'r pilosophy ; it'll make 
him go, 'n that's 'nough f'r me." 

So Ned had stuffed one of his trousers-pockets 
with ashes, to use in case old Bill should prove ob- 
stinate. But old Bill behaved as a well-intentioned 
horse should at a tournament, and trotted obe* 
diently to his place by a small pine in the eastern 
part of the muster-field, while Dolly guided Skatta 
near a ground savin to the west. These were the 
starting-places — the lists. Upon a small birch-tree 
hung a somewhat cumbrous laurel wreath, with 
which to crown the victor. The meeting-house 
clock was near the stroke of ten, and it was decid- 
ed that its first note should be the signal for the 

The name "Old Bill" may give a wrong impres- 
sion of that famous and tractable steed. He was 
not so very old, but he was lazy and safe, and so 
Ned was allowed to use him all he liked. He look- 
ed like a Dutch horse, low, round, and stout. Ned 
had tied blue ribbons to his bridle, and wore the 
same colors on his helmet and lance, while Dolly 


and Skatta were decked with scarlet, for which em- 
bellishments Dolly's ribbon-box had been rifled. 

For a moment or two they awaited the signal 
in silence, motionless, with uplifted lances, and they 
really did look extremely pretty and mediaevalish 
— which means like the knights of those mystical 
Middle Ages. It seemed a pity there were no spec- 
tators, none but a flock of crows in the top of some 
tall pines in the western woods, that cried "Caw! 
caw !" as though they scented the battle. 

The clock struck. 

" Deschidado ! deschidado !" shouted Dolly, who 
was the Disinherited Knight ; while Ned, who was 
supposed to be Brian de Bois Gilbert, replied with 
" Beau-seant ! Beau-seant !" the war-cry of the Tem- 

I wish I could say that the horses " rushed " to 
the fray as did those in " Ivanhoe." But truth 
compels me to state that Skatta only got beyond 
a moderate trot. Neither did they meet with " a 
crash that might have been heard at a mile's dis- 
tance. " It having been necessary for the riders 
to make their preparations for the tournament se- 
cretly, they had not been able to practise suffi- 
ciently, and so found it difficult to manage their 
horses and long lances at the same time. 

Ned got his bridle-reins twisted, and old Bill, 
instead of meeting Skatta half-way, as he should, 
ambled off in a north-westerly direction; while 
Skatta, urged on by the lance which Dolly help- 



lessly poked into her ear, galloped away to the 
south-east, and owing to their blinding helmets — 
for they rode, of course, with visors down — it was 
some time before the riders could find each other. 

But a second time they were at their starting- 
places, waiting with uplifted lances. 

" Now," spoke Dolly, " we must have a signal. 
We can't wait an hour for the clock to strike. 
What shall we do?" 

" Count/' said Ned. " We'll count three togeth- 
er and then start " — which was a sensible if not a 
knightly arrangement. 

" One, two, three !" counted the combatants in 
chorus, and this time they met to some purpose, 
for Skatta and old Bill barely missed of a collision, 
and Dolly's lance proving, as before, unmanage- 
able, struck Ned's pasteboard helmet with great 
force, and Brian de Bois-Gilbert rolled ignominious- 
ly in the dust, as he did in the " Gentle and Joyous 
Passage of Arms at Ashby." 

Skatta's impetus carried her with her rider well 
across the field, and it was some moments before 
Dolly drew rein at the spot where Ned lay on the 
ground, with old Bill standing over him touching 
him inquiringly with his nose. 

Dolly sprang quickly from her saddle. At first 
she thought Ned was " playing 'possum," as the 
humming-bird does when caught, making believe 
dead. But when she spoke to him and he did not 
answer, and then lifting the pasteboard helmet saw 


how white he looked as he lay with closed eyes; 
and then when she tried to lift him, and his head 
fell heavily and helplessly back upon her arm, her 
heart misgave her, terror seized upon her, and she 
ran swiftly across the field and the highway and 
the Green, never heeding a carriageful of travellers, 
who looked inquisitively at the flying maiden — 
was it a maiden with the black helmet, the brass 
breastplate, and the shining shield ? — and burst in 
upon the astonished Thankful, who had just drawn 
a pound-cake to the mouth of the brick oven in order 
to test it with a broom straw, to see if it was " done/' 

" Oh, Thankful! Thankful!" cried the strange 
apparition, in a sepulchral voice, for the paste- 
board helmet was thick, " come quick, do ! for 
he's dead and I've killed him !"— for poor Dolly re- 
membered remorsefully that it was she who had 
proposed the tournament. 

" Who's dead ? an' who V you, I sh'd like t' 
know ?" said Thankful, completely bewildered, and 
not even recognizing the familiar shield and breast- 

"Why it's I — Dolly! Don't you know me?" 
and she tore off her helmet and threw it on the 
floor. " Hateful old thing ! I hit him with my 
lance and knocked him off. We're playing tour- 
nament. Oh, hurry, Thankful, do !" 

" Turnipment !" ejaculated Thankful, seeing a 
glimmer of light — for very little escaped Thankful's 
shrewd observation, and she had " mistrusted," as 


she told Mrs. Park afterwards, that " they were up 
to something" and had missed the warming-pan 
covers when she went up into the garret " a Thurs- 
day " to hang up the penny-royal and thorough- 
wort to dry. 

" Lor', child, he ain't dead, only stunted, I guess. 
We'll bring him tew — don't y worry ;" and Thank- 
ful caught up the " camphire " bottle and the opo- 
deldoc, and ran across the road, comforting Dolly 
by the way, to find Ned sitting up trying to col- 
lect his scattered senses, in which operation he was 
greatly assisted by Dolly throwing her arms — to 
one of which the tin pot-cover still clung closely — 
around his neck and kissing him violently. 

" Halloo !" he exclaimed, surprised at this dem- 
onstration — for Dolly, although warm-hearted and 
impetuous, as we have seen, was not given to much 

"Oh, I thought you were killed, Ned," she said, 
looking at him with shining eyes. 

" Not by a long chalk, you bet !" was the reas- 
suring reply, all the more reassuring from its slang- 
iness. " And I say, Dolly, you beat, an' you'll have 
to be crowned." 

" It's crown enough for me to see you alive ; an' 
I'm sick o' the old tournament," she replied, as she 
put off her shield and breastplate. 

"Oh, that's nothing," said Ned. "I've been 
knocked over a dozen times playing ball. Knock- 
ing down don't hurt a fellow." 


Thankful had at once proceeded to bathe his 
head with the camphor, to which treatment Ned 
submitted with a good grace, although it got into 
his eyes and made them smart. But when she 
proposed a rubbing with the opodeldoc, he re- 

" Oh, pshaw, Thankful ! I ain't a molly-coddle. 
What d'y think a fellow's made of ? I can't be 
rubbed with opodeldoc every time I tumble down." 

Meanwhile the ungrateful Bill and Skatta had 
betaken themselves to the juicy grasses of Bailey's 
Bowl, and were found feeding peacefully in its 
depths, caring naught apparently for the weal of 
their riders. But there was one who cared, and 
that was Gaston. He had watched the tourna- 
ment with deep interest; he had stayed by the 
fallen Ned while Dolly had gone for help, and he 
now came up to her and, putting a paw on either 
shoulder, looked into hers with his speaking, sym- 
pathetic eyes. 

" Dear old Gaston !" said Dolly, giving him a 
hug; " we're glad, aren't we!" 

Having gathered up their armor and taken pos- 
session of their recreant steeds, they returned to 
the house, and who shall paint Thankful's dismay 
when she found the oven-door wide open, as she 
had left it in her haste, the pound-cake fallen flat, 
the loaves of raised cake ditto, the mince-pies cool- 
ed, and their delicate flakiness utterly spoiled — and 
the Honorable Mr. Quincy going to stop there 


that very night to take supper, on his way to an 
anti-slavery meeting. 

" I might V known no good 'd come o' that 
novil," said Thankful, in her wrath, slamming the 
oven door. " They're a device o' the Evil One, my 
old mother used t' say, an' that's true 's preachin'." 

But Thankful, even in her wrath, could not help 
smiling when she recalled those two in their ar- 
mor. The pot-cover which served for Ned's shield 
had got a fearful dent in the fall, and it kept alive 
in Thankful's memory for many a day the lovely 
Rebecca and her ill-starred fortunes. 

As to the laurel-wreath which had been woven 
for the victor, it was forgotten. It hung on the 
birch-tree all winter, beaten by storms of wind and 
rain, but being securely fastened did not fall, and 
in the early spring a pair of robins built their nest 
among its rusty leaves. Dolly and Ned saw it 
there one day when they were out May-flowering. 

That evening, like Topsy, they " 'fessed " their 
shortcomings to Mrs. Park. Ned, somewhat paler 
than usual from the effects of his fall, was cosily 
settled in his own special corner of the sofa. 

" I thought a tournament must be so lovely/' 
said Dolly, with a sigh, " and now I think they're 
just horrid." 

" I wouldn't feel that way about it," said Mrs. 
Park, smiling. She had smiled a good deal during 
the narrative, for they had told her "all about it" 
literally, the difficulty in regard to armor and every- 


thing, and it certainly was a very funny experience 
to which to listen. " After all, I expect a tourna- 
ment is a much mor^ charming thing to read about 
in books than it ever was in reality. We should 
not like the dust and the heat and the wounds." 

" But," Mrs. Park went on, a little more serious- 
ly, " the spirit of knight-errantry is the same in all 

" Why, I thought tournaments were just play, 
like— like— " 

" Puss-puss-in-the-corner," put in Ned. 

"Yes, only men and women played," added 

And then Mrs. Park told them how a young 
man had to keep a solemn vigil through all the 
hours of the night preceding the day on which he 
took his vows of knighthood ; and about Bayard, 
who kept his vows so well that, though he died 
four hundred years ago, he is still known as the 
chevalier " sans peur et sans reproche ;" and about 
King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, 
and the search for the Holy Grail, and what it 
meant ; and how all these beautiful stories, myth- 
ical though many of them are, teach one principle 
— love to God and man — which is just as binding 
now as when those knights took their solemn vows. 
And Dolly and Ned both felt, for a while at least, 
that though the age of prancing steeds and shining 
armor, of jousts, and queens of love and beauty, 
had gone by, the soul of it remained. 



" Feed me, curry me, ride me, and love me," 
ran the legend on the card that hung from Skatta's 
bridle, and Dolly fulfilled it to the letter. A spe- 
cial stall was given to Skatta — not in the stable 
where Suke and Dapple and Bill, and the horses 
of the guests of the tavern, were kept, but in a 
corner of the clean, well-kept cow-barn, where was 
also a closet in which to lock up her saddle and 
bridle, of which closet Dolly had the key. 

Every morning Dolly put on her " groom's dress " 
— an old delaiitc set aside for that purpose — gave 
Skatta her hay and oats, led her to water, and then 
curried and brushed her till every hair was straight 
and shiny, and her mane as wavy and glossy as 
Dolly's own. 

Every day, too, except when it stormed, she 
obeyed the third injunction and rode her. The 
pretty Shetland, with Dolly on her back and the 
faithful Gaston by her side, became a familiar ob- 
ject to all that country-side, and rare were the oc- 
casions when Ned and old Bill did not form a part 
of the cavalcade. As they dashed by, Ned raising 
his cap gallantly and Dolly waving a kiss from her 


finger-tips, the old aunties breathed a simultane- 
ous " Bless the children !" Not infrequently they 
reined up their horses by the broad, flat door-stone 
which lay at the entrance of "The Hut " — for that 
was the name of the somewhat primitive building 
wherein the aunties dwelt. The latch-string was 
always out, literally, for these two, for The Hut, 
built of plank and unshingled, looked like a log- 
cabin, and had a primitive latch-string, as it should. 

Dolly found these old aunties delightfully "jolly," 
as, you remember, Ned said she would, though the 
adjective "jolly" could be consistently applied to 
only one, and that one Aunt Debby. Aunt Debby 
was a plump, cushiony, dumpling of a woman, all 
the way of a bigness, with sparkling black eyes and 
a broad, ever -smiling mouth. She was the one 
who took the "heft" of the scrubbing and cook- 
ing, while Nanny did the " puttering." Poor Aunt 
Patty, palsy-stricken for many years, could only do 
a little knitting, and even this became sadly tangled 
in her shaking hands, and it was a part of Nanny's 
puttering to disentangle her yarn and pick up the 
numberless dropped stitches. So Aunt Patty, un- 
der Nanny's supervision, was able to knft a couple 
of pair of stockings a year, the doing of which was 
a great comfort to her. 

Nanny was a singularly appropriate name for 
the simple-hearted, childlike woman who bore 
it. With her gentle absent-mindedness, she was 
a never- failing source of amusement to Debby. 


She was always putting on her things upside down 
and wrong side out, and going off to meeting with- 
out any bonnet. Once she started without bon- 
net or " front " — the front being the indispensable 
old lady's "bang" of those days — and Aunt Deb- 
by, following her, laughed so at Nanny's absurd 
appearance in her best black-silk gown, with mus- 
lin kerchief crossed placidly over her bosom, and 
her short white hair her only head-covering, that 
she came near not catching her at all, and Nanny 
was barely saved the scandal of entering the meet- 
ing-house with uncovered head. 

Aunt Debby herself, on ordinary occasions, wore 
a green calash — a queer head-gear, which looked 
like a chaise-top and shut up like an accordeon. 
This calash could be pulled over the face at will 
by means of a ribbon fastened to the front. 

" You favor y'r gre't-gran'ma, my dear," said 
Aunt Debby to Dolly one morning, as they drew 
rein at her door — "now don't she, Nanny? — y'r 
gre't - gran'ma Marchant. She's light -c'mplected 
like Dorothea Williams was, an' she's got the same 
high way o' carryin' her head — uppish, some folks 
said, but I never did. 'F there ever zoas a good, 
kind woman 'twas Dorothea Williams, 'n she never 
set up t' be better 'n her neighbors, t' my way o' 
thinkin'. I remember, 's if 'twas yisterday, seein' 
her come out bride. She 'n Cyrus Marchant were 
a proper han'som' couple ;" and Aunt Debby's 
twinkling black eyes took on a retrospective look. 


" Oh, do you remember my great-grandma Mar- 
chant ? M exclaimed Dolly, to whom a great-grand- 
mamma seemed very far away indeed. 

"Ay, lassie, an* she waur a braw leddy an* a 
bonnie. Her een were like the stars o' a simmer's 
night, soft and bright," said Debby, who often be- 
trayed her Scotch descent by her speech, especial- 
ly when going back into the past ; but she always 
shook herself after it with a laugh, as now. 

" Eh, my dear old mither! her Scotch tongue 
cleaves to me yet," she said. "Yes, dearie, I re- 
member her well, and she was a brave leddy as 
well as a bonnie. D' y' mind, Nanny, the time she 
brought home the robber's ho's' ? — leastways we 
thought 'twas a robber's ho's', for he never come 
for it, as an honest man would." 

" Yes ; it was a fearfu' happenin' for so young a 
lassie, but the Lord takes care o' his own," was 
Nanny's reply. 

Dolly's eyes opened wide in expectant wonder. 
" Oh, tell me all about it, Aunt Debby. I never 
even heard of it before ;" and she dropped the 
reins on Skatta's neck and leaned eagerly forward. 

" 'Twas the year afore she was merried to y'r 
gre't-gran'ther, Cyrus Marchant," said Aunt Deb- 
by, bringing her little flax-wheel out on the broad, 
flat door-stone, and seating herself beside it, so 
that not a moment should be lost. " She'd gone 
over t' Triphammer f'r a matter o' ten pounds or 
so th't Squire Elderkin was owin' t' y'r gre't-gre't- 


gran'ther Williams. 'Twas a part o' Dorothea's 
dowry, an' was goin' t' buy her weddin' -gown, 
which Cap'en Nehemiah Higgins had jest brought 
home from Chainy — a white satin covered with 
lilies o' th' valley in shinin' siller. I saw her mer- 
ried 'n that same gown, an' she looked like a lily 
o' th' valley hersel' ; an* when she died, a matter o' 
three years a'ter, Cyrus Marchant said she sh'd be 
buried 'n that weddin' -gown, an* go down t' th' 
grave as a bride ; an' buried in it she waur, an' she 
looked like a pure lily o' th' valley as she lay in her 
coffin, wi' her babby on her breast. An' y'r gre't- 
gran'ther went a-moanin' all his days, an' never 
merried ag'in. 

" But this ain't tellin' you about the robber's 
ho's'," said Aunt Debby, briskly, giving a vigorous 
twirl to the wheel with her foot. " I'm a chatterin' 
old woman, that's what I am. Well, as I was a-say- 
in', she'd gone down t' Triphammer f the siller, 
an' was a-comin' home, an' in th' woods betwixt 
here 'n there — or that was 'twixt here 'n there, f'r 
it's a' gone lang syne — a horseman came canterin' 
up, an' stopped an' spoke t' Dorothea, tryin' t' be 
p'lite ; but Dorothea said she mistrusted him th' 
minute she set eyes on him. Seems sometimes 's 
though the Lord's angels did watch over his'n to 
warn 'em. An' he talked about the exc'llent good 
crops, an' had she heard how Silas Sweet's ship 
was lost last year 'n th' Chainy seas an' him just 
got home, an' how Colonel Sturtevant's best cow 


'd died, an' other things, t' make Dorothea think 
he wa'n't no stranger 'n them parts, 'n she needn't 
be afeard o' him. But th' more th' crittur talked, 
th' more Dorothea mistrusted him ; tho' she wa'n't 
afeard, not she, f'r she had a high sperit, an' was 
only a-castin' about 'n her mind how she c'd git 
rid o' him ; an' then he said 'twas a lonesome bit 
o' woods f'r a young leddy t' ride through alone 
in, 'n 'twas well f'r her t' have his comp'ny; 'n 
jest then his saddle -girt' loosed 'n slipped, 'n he 
jumped off t' fix it, callin' t' Dorothea t' wait a 
minute. An' while he was a-stoopin' t' tighten 
th' girt', Dorothea see a big pistol stickin' out o 5 
the bosom o' his ruffled shirt, an' quick as a flash 
she struck his ho's' with her ridin'-whip, an' giv' 
the word t' Sunset, her own ho's', an' off they 
both went, knockin' over th' villain in th' dirt, 
though he scrambled up 'n fired off his pistol at 
'em jest as they were goin' out o' sight 'n a turn 
o' the road, an' Dorothea heard th' bullet whiz 
close by, an' it clipped off a bit o' Sunset's ear. 
But that only made 'em go faster; an' when Doro- 
thea got home, her father said if nobody didn't 
come f'r th' ho's' it sh'd be hers, an' what was in 
th' saddle-bags sh'd be hers. An' nobody never 
did come f'r th' ho's', an' in the saddle-bags was 
two hundred pounds in gowd an' siller, and Doro- 
thea had th' biggest dowry 'f any girl in Byfield." 

" Ned !" spoke Dolly. 

They had been riding for some time in a silence 


rather unusual for these two. They had left Aunt 
Debby's, and were on their way to Hemlock Isl- 
and to see the coal-pits. 

" Well?" answered Ned. " I've been wondering 
what you were thinking about, Dolly." 

" Oh, ever so many things," said Dolly, rousing 
herself and starting up Skatta, who had been am- 
bling slowly along, into a brisk trot — " ever so 
many things — Skipper Joe's stories, and the Little 
Madam, and what Aunt Debby just told us about 
Great-grandma Marchant ; and IVe been wonder- 
ing why books about people can't be just as inter- 
esting. Now, you know, Ned, * Robinson Crusoe ' 
is, and so 's ' Robin's Journal,' but history 's just 

" Well, I s'pose that's history," replied Ned. " I 
heard Dr. Stone say, the other day, we were mak- 
ing history all the time, we Americans ; an' that's 
the way we make it, I s'pose." 

" The interesting parts never get into the his- 
tory-books, then," said Dolly. 

" That's so," replied Ned, emphatically, who had 
just begun Greek history, and hated it, though he 
liked Homer. He had found a copy of Chapman's 
Homer in an old chest in the secret chamber of 
the tavern, and had read it with great relish. He 
had never told Dolly about the book, nor about 
the secret chamber : he was keeping them for her. 

As I said, they were on their way to Hemlock 
Island — to that part of it where the coal-pits were. 


It was a mid-October day. A blue mist lay along 
the horizon. The golden-rod had faded, but the 
purple asters still bloomed by the way-side, and 
the oak and hickory were rich in crimson and gold. 
Great heaps of apples lay in the orchards, and the 
yellow pumpkins were piled in the corners of the 
cornfields. Their way lay through the fields — a 
well-defined roadway, but with numberless bars 
to let down. 

"Say, Dolly/' exclaimed Ned at last, impatient 
at having to dismount every other thing to let 
down bars, "let's leap 'em. Old Bill can do it, 
and I'll teach Skatta. Just look!" and giving old 
Bill a touch with the whip, he cleared the four- 
railed fence, and came down on the other side as 
lightly as a bird. 

" Oh !" cried Dolly, admiringly. " Do you think 
Skatta could do that ?" 

" Uncle Malcolm wrote she was trained, and a 
saddle-horse isn't well trained if he can't leap a 
fence," replied Ned, as if he knew. " But you'd 
better try one rail first. You ar'n't afraid?" he 

"Afraid? not I!" answered Dolly, with a gay 
laugh. " Didn't Aunt Debby say I carried my 
head high like Great-grandma Marchant ? and she 
wasn't afraid ;" and she brought Skatta in front of 
the one rail, Ned having carefully removed the 

With a slight leap Skatta went over, and as she 


came down on the other side she tossed her head, 
as who should say, " What a bagatelle is that for a 
horse !" 

" She's used to it," pronounced Ned; "and you 
did first-rate, too, Dolly ; you didn't bounce a mite. 
Now we'll try two rails." 

Skatta went over two rails, and Dolly pro- 
nounced it "as good as flying; and I sha'n't envy 
the birds any more after this, Ned." Then the 
three rails were tried, then the four, and Skatta 
proved the quality of her training by going over 
without a balk, and after that there was no more 
dismounting to let down bars. 

As they rode in among the coal-pits, Skatta gave 
a terrified snort and began to back. She did not 
like the smoke, and the fire that was belching out 
from a hole in one of the pits frightened her. 

" So, so, Skatta," said Dolly, patting her sooth- 
ingly; "don't be a goose! it's only a coal-pit." 
And using a little judicious coaxing, she got her 
past the flaming pit to the farther side, where the 
smoke was less dense. As she passed the man 
who was tending the blazing pit, he looked up. 
It was an evil glance that he cast upon the two 
from under his ragged, dirty cap. 

"What a dreadful man! Who is he, Ned?" 
asked Dolly, in a whisper, bringing Skatta up close 
to old Bill. 

" I'm sure I don't know. A man always looks 
horrid, anyway, when he's coaling. 'Zekle can 


tell you, I guess, if you want to know. Why, 

"Seems as if I'd seen him before, Ned ;" and 
Dolly shivered slightly. 

This was not Dolly's first visit to the coal-pits. 
She had watched with great interest the whole 
process, from the building to the firing of the pits. 
Some of them were now almost ready to be coaled. 

"They're dewin' fust-rate, mostly," said 'Zekle ; 
"but that feller's makin' a mess o' his'n," indicat- 
ing with a nod the man with the evil eye. 

" Who is he ?" asked Dolly. 

" I d'no who he is, but I know he don't know 
nothin' 'bout tendin' a pit," replied 'Zekle. "He 
come here 'n wanted work, 'n said he knowed all 
'bout coalin'. But he might 's well quit. Here, 
you !" he called out to the man, who turned sur- 
lily. " We don't care to keep you any longer. 
Y're jest sp'ilin' that pit. Burnt up more coal 
now 'n y're wuth." 

The man threw down his hoe, turned upon his 
heel, and, before 'Zekle had time to speak again, 
disappeared into the thick woods that closely en- 
circled the clearing where the pits were. 

" Wa'al," said 'Zekle, " 'f he hadn't b'en 'n sech a 
'tarnal hurry I'd a-gi'n him a quarter, tho' he ain't 
'arned a red cent." (Cents were cents in those 
days, not nickels, and were red.) 

Dolly and Ned took dinner in one of the cabins. 
This had been understood at the tavern when they 



left that morning. 'Zekle made coffee, and broiled 
pickerel fresh from Wintuxet Lake. This gypsy- 
like lunch was highly relished by Dolly. The 
potatoes were roasted in the ashes ; and though 
much of the smoke which was expected to pass 
out through a hole in the roof lingered in the 
cabin, by keeping in a strong draught near the 
door it was endurable. 

How cosey those cabins did look, to be sure, 
with their bunks filled with straw and their very 
primitive stone fireplaces ! 

" Coaling must be great fun," remarked Dolly, 
as she devoured a section of one of Thankful's 
plummy mince-pies. 

" I guess you'd think so 'f you 's here once in a 
storm," said Ned, who in the past had entertained 
similar views of the delights of charcoal -making, 
and had been permitted by his mother to test 
them. " Door shut tight t' keep out wind and 
rain, cabin chock-full o' smoke, water pouring in 
through the cracks, straw sopping wet, an' old 
shanty shaking 's if 't might blow away any minute. 
Oh yes, it's great fun !" he concluded, ironically. 

They lingered for some time about the pits, and 
then went down to the lake. Here they found 
the remains of a raft, built by Ned the preceding 
summer, in conjunction with several other boys. 
This they launched, and paddled about, barely es- 
caping a ducking, and so it was well into the after- 
noon before they started for home. 


Dolly had well fulfilled the injunction laid upon 
her by Aunt Anna to watch over the Little Mad- 
am. Rarely a day had passed since that time that 
she had not gone once at least to the vine-covered 
cottage. Ned often went with her, but not always; 
and Dolly, leaving Skatta to nibble the grass by 
the gate, would go in to nod and smile and talk as 
well as she could with the Little Madam over her 
boxes of mignonette, her bees, and her quaint em- 
broidery ; to cultivate a still more intimate ac- 
quaintance with the cockatoo, who now knew her 
well, and who no longer shrieked at the sight of 
Gaston ; and to pet the white, blue-eyed Persian 
cat, while Gaston slept peacefully on the sunny 

The daily offering of the Little Madam in her 
office as hostess was usually a tiny square of honey- 
comb, dripping with amber honey made by her 
own bees, sometimes varied with a pink peach or 
a russet pear. Whatever it might be, it was dain- 
tily served on some delicate bit of India ware — 
another of Skipper Joe's gifts, who seemed to con- 
sider nothing too good or too fine for this little 

Meanwhile, Aunt Anna's solicitude in regard to 
the Little Madam's comfort and safety had not 
lessened. The rumors concerning her had gained 
ground. She was not only a Roman Catholic, who 
kept a cross with the crucified Christ upon it in 
her room, and worshipped this graven image con- 


trary to the commandment, but her forgeuPness 
was all a pretence. She knew what she was about 
well enough. " She was a spy," said some ; spy- 
ing for what purpose, however, they could not def- 
initely say. " A Jesuit, without doubt," one wom- 
an more learned than the others declared. " If she 
were not got rid of in some way she would ruin 
the morals and destroy the faith of the young, es- 
pecially," said others. " And what was Mis' Park 
a-thinkin' of, t' let that child (Dolly) keep a-runnin' 
down there every day o her life ! Mark my words, 
Miss Periwinkle, she'll rue it — she'll rue it yit !" 
And Aunt Debby, to whom these words were ad- 
dressed, " guessed Mis' Park c'd take care o' her 
own business, an' didn't want none o' her help." 

But all this unfriendly gossip bore its legitimate 
fruit. Many who heretofore had been kind to the 
Little Madam, and had given expression to that 
kindness in words and in gifts, now stood aloof, 
and, like the Priest and the Levite, passed by on 
the other side. The more ignorant gave active 
expression to their dislike and distrust, and annoy- 
ed her in many ways. Especially did the children 
do this. Her grapes were stolen and the vine 
pulled up — the vfne she herself had transplanted 
from its native woods. Her beehive was upset ; 
and it is pleasant to chronicle that the boy who did 
it was badly stung; and the brown -eyed doctor, 
having to be called in, while he mitigated the suf- 
ferings of his patient, improved the opportunity of 


administering both to the boy and his mother a 
homily on the duty of loving one's neighbor as 
one's self. 

Once Dolly, arriving opportunely, found one of 
these boys fastening a cord around the neck of the 
blue-eyed Persian cat, with the intent to hang her. 
He was crouching behind the barn, where he 
thought himself completely hidden from observa- 
tion, and was taken by surprise when Dolly fell 
upon him " tooth and nail," released the cat, and 
gave the young ruffian a sound cuffing. He did 
not forget the feel of her soft palm nor the look in 
her blazing eyes for many a day ; and when Dolly, 
half ashamed, confessed her passionate outbreak 
to Aunt Anna, the latter said she had done just 
right, and needn't feel called upon to apologize. 

So, as they came that day to the lane leading 
down to the Little Madam's, Dolly said, " It's late, 
Ned ; but I must go down and see the Little Mad- 
am. I haven't seen her to-day." 

"I wouldn't go to-night, Dolly, 'f I were you; 
no matter 'f you do miss a day," said Ned. 

Dolly hesitated a moment. Then she turned 
Skatta's head decidedly. " Oh yes, I must, Ned," 
she said. " There's no knowing what those dread- 
ful boys have done to her to-day. I sha'n't feel a 
bit easy if I don't see her. But you needn't come, 

Dolly trotted off, and Ned rode slowly on tow- 
ards the tavern; but just before he reached it he 


turned his horse and galloped after Dolly, wl^ was 
already out of sight. 

As Dolly drew near the cottage she became at 
once aware that something unusual was taking 
place. On the low roof of the barn crouched the 
Persian cat, with every hair erect, and her tail bris- 
tling like a lamp-chimney cleaner, while the cock- 
atoo was shrieking loudly within the house, " Go 
'way ! go 'way ! Bad boy ! bad boy !' y 

Dolly leaped from her horse and ran in, to find 
the Little Madam struggling in the grasp of a man, 
whom she instantly recognized as the one she had 
seen that day at the coal-pits — the man with the 
evil eye. 

With a savage roar Gaston ran past Dolly, sprang 
upon the man, and seized him by the throat. 
There was a momentary struggle, a flash, a crack 
of a pistol, then the man leaped through the open 
window just as Ned rode up, and Gaston lay stretch- 
ed upon the floor, with the blood pouring out from 
a wound in his breast. 

Dolly stood for a moment as if dazed, then she 
threw herself down by his side, with a piercing cry 
of " Gaston ! Gaston !" The brave fellow made 
one last effort to rise and to lap the hand of his 
beloved mistress, looked once at her with his hu- 
man eyes, and then the faithful, loving heart was 
stilled forever. 

After that first cry Dolly lay motionless, with 
her hands clasped around the dead dog's neck, and 


her filce buried in his shaggy hair, making half- 
inarticulate moans, pitiful to hear, Ned felt, as he 
came in and spoke to her and she did not answer. 

" Oh don't, Dolly! don't!" he entreated. "Come 
home to mother." And he bent down and tried to 
loosen the tightly clasped hands. But Dolly made 
no reply, only lying quite still, with the low heart- 
breaking moans coming from her lips at intervals. 

"Take care of her," he said at last to the Little 
Madam, "and I'll go for mother." 

When Aunt Anna came she found her still lying 
there, with the Little Madam by her side tenderly 
caressing her, and the Australian cockatoo talking 
from his perch in the corner — " Poor Dolly ! poor 
Polly! kiss Dolly! Gaston! Gaston! dead!" and 
then he gave a chuckle that sounded curiously like 
a sob. 

" Dolly," said Mrs. Park, lifting her gently but 
firmly, " come with me, my dear; come home, and 
we will take Gaston too." At the sound of his 
name the flood-gates of her grief were opened and 
the tears came fast, with sobs that shook her whole 
frame. She yielded at once, however, to the lov- 
ing command, and Uncle Harry carried her in his 
arms to the carriage and they drove home, with 
Ned following sorrowfully on old Bill, and leading 

'Zekle got out the express wagon to go for Gas- 

" Seems if 't 'd ought t' be the hearse," he said 


to Thankful, as he put some clean straw Hi the 
bottom and laid a white sheet over it, which Thank- 
ful had brought for that purpose. " He's a sight 
humaner th'n some human critters I know." 

" That's so, 'nough sight," replied Thankful, in 
her grimmest tone, and she looked black as a thun- 
der-cloud in a sultry summer's sky. 

Grief always had a singular effect on Thankful, 
and she forgot how often she had scolded Gaston 
for bringing in dirt on his big feet ; but he had 
also had many a toothsome morsel from her hand, 
and they had been on the whole excellent friends. 
It was Thankful's way to give her friends an ad- 
monitory rap with one hand, while she held out 
some valued gift with the other. 

" Now, Ned," she said, " 'f you want t' do some- 
thin' for Gaston, you c'n go 'n git some pine 
boughs 'nstead o' snivellin' there ;" for poor Ned, 
utterly broken down with grief for Gaston and the 
distress of seeing Dolly's tears, was himself sob- 
bing in the deep window-seat in the sitting-room, 
where he had hoped nobody would see him. 

"Mis' Park wants him put 'n the parlor; an' 
we'll have things done decent 'f he is nothin' but 
a dog." And Thankful, slamming the door behind 
her, retreated to the parlor to make the necessary 
arrangements ; and when 'Zekle and the other men 
arrived, bringing Gaston, he was laid tenderly on 
the fragrant pine boughs. 

The next day he was buried in the little grass- 


plot in Aunt Anna's flower-garden, and was missed 
and mourned by the whole household, but by 
none so deeply as by his beloved mistress, who re- 
fused to be comforted. 

The spot where Gaston lay was shut in from 
observation by a trellis overgrown with the ever- 
green myrtle, and there Aunt Anna often found 
her, lying upon his grave and crying softly. She 
was becoming acquainted with Death, for we never 
really become acquainted with Death until he takes 
some one we dearly love. 

" Do you think it is right for you to mourn so 
for Gaston ?" asked Aunt Anna, one day, finding 
her there as usual. " Gaston was getting old, and 
some day he would have died." 

" Oh dear ! that don't make it a bit easier," 
moaned Dolly, as Aunt Anna knew very well. " I 
wanted him to live as long as I did, and now I 
shall never see him again — never!" and a fresh 
burst of tears followed. 

Aunt Anna hesitated a moment before she 
spoke again. " Do you remember, Dolly, how our 
Lord said that a sparrow does not fall unnoticed 
by our Father^, And it is not for us to say 
whether Gaston shall live again. Many wise and 
good men and women believe that life once given 
is never taken back. There is nothing in the Bible 
that forbids our believing that our beloved com- 
panions among what we call the brute creation 
.shall live again. We have a loving Father, Dolly, 


and we must trust ourselves and* all we have to 
His keeping. He will never fail us." And Dolly, 
listening, was comforted, and from that hour could 
think and speak of Gaston with cheerfulness. 

That night — the night after Gaston was killed — 
'Zekle passed at the vine-covered cottage so that 
no farther harm came to the Little Madam, and the 
next day she was transferred, with the blue-eyed 
cat and the white cockatoo, her boxes of migno- 
nette and her old India ware, to a sunny corner 
of the tavern. Her bees were carefully removed 
to winter- quarters, and the dismantled cottage 
locked until spring, or until less troublous times 
should permit her return. 

Dolly, meanwhile, was haunted by a feeling that, 
after some hesitation, she imparted to Aunt Anna. 

"I think, Aunt Anna," she said, " that the 
dreadful man who killed Gaston was one of the 
thieves that tried to rob Uncle Harry." 

" What makes you think so, my dear?" 

" Because when he jumped through the window 
he looked just as one of them did that night when 
they jumped through the meeting-house window. 
And his voice, too, Auntie — he was swearing 
dreadfully at the Little Madam, and it makes me 
think of that night every time I think of him." 

When Aunt Anna told her husband what Dolly 
had said, his reply was, " Very likely. But I 
don't see what he was after at the Little Mad- 
am's. She hasn't any money or anything of value 


except her cat and her cockatoo, and a thief 
wouldn't be likely to want those/' 

And then Mrs. Park told him the latest gossip 
about the Little Madam ; how it was rumored that 
she had a large sum of money concealed on her 

" Where do they think she got it, and what do 
they think she is going to do with it?" asked 
Uncle Harry. 

" I don't know, I'm sure," replied Mrs. Park. 
" There's no reason in such a supposition, of course. 
But who ever heard of a reasonable gossip !" 

Who, indeed ! 



As has been elsewhere intimated, Ned held a 
surprise in store for Dolly which he had been 
keeping for the right time ; and now when he saw 
her dull, and moping for Gaston, he felt that time 
had arrived. 

"Dolly/' he said, one morning — there was a 
pouring rain and no going abroad on Skatta — 
" Dolly, come up-stairs, will you ? I've got some- 
thing to show you." 

Dolly was standing by the window, watching 
the rain-drops chase each other down the outside 
of the panes, and pitying a robin who, having 
evidently made up his mind not to go South for 
the winter, was getting well drenched on his perch 
among the almost leafless branches of a cherry- 

She turned quickly at Ned's call. 

"What is it?" she asked. 

" Oh, more hist'ry," replied Ned, enigmatically. 
"Come on." And Dolly "came on" gladly, fol- 
lowing him up the staircase in the rear of the big 
dining-room to the broad landing. This was the 


oldest part of the tavern, and was very old indeed 
— for America — having been built about the year 
1680. The other parts of the rambling old struct- 
ure had been added at intervals, the last addition 
dating somewhere near the beginning of the pres- 
ent century. These oldest rooms had cedar walls 
and ceilings, and were panelled, with rudely carved 
flowers in the centre of the panels. 

Ned stopped upon the landing and pressed his 
finger on what looked like a large clover-leaf, when 
the panel slid noiselessly back, revealing a closet- 
like room, into which he stepped, followed by 
Dolly, and closed the panel. This room was light- 
ed by a narrow opening, screened from outside ob- 
servation by the projecting eaves. It was empty, 
save for a small oaken chest, the brass lock and 
hinges of which were green with damp. 

" Oh, Ned !• ■ exclaimed Dolly, rapturously, tak- 
ing in the whole delightful secret at a glance. " I 
never really believed in the secret doors and things 
in the ' Mysteries of Udolpho ' before. They're 
splendid to read about and think true ; but they 
must be true, for those old castles are ever 'n ever 
so much bigger than this house, and there's plenty 
of room in them for lots of secret places— O-o-oh !" 
and Dolly's evident delight was good to see. 

" Mother says a good many old houses in New 
England have just such places. She's seen that 
one in Hadley where the regicides hid, you know." 

" No, I don't know a thine about 'em. Who 


were they?" said Dolly, impressed with such a re- 
markable display of erudition. 

" The people who killed Charles I., of course," 
replied Ned, loftily. " They ran away to this coun- 
try, 'n hid in a secret room in Hadley, an' nobody 
but the folks in the house knew they were there. 
An' one Sunday the Indians made an attack, an' 
the men rushed out of the meeting-house with 
their guns — they carried guns to meeting then — 
an' the Indians were getting the best of 'em, when 
out came one of those regicides and shouted to the 
white men to come on, an' encouraged 'em so they 
drove off the Indians. Then the regicide went 
straight back to his secret room. He had on a 
dressing-gown an' slippers, an* the people didn't 
know who he was, an' so they said 'twas an angel 
come down from heaven to help 'em — queer an- 
gel, in dressing-gown an' slippers, I sh'd think !" 

" But I say, Dolly," he continued, lowering his 
voice mysteriously, " there's a story about this 
room too." 

" Oh, Ned, y6u don't say so !" said Dolly, grasp- 
ing his arm. " A real, dreadful, true story ?" 

u Yes, true 's I live and breathe. Didn't I say 
so — more hist'ry," he replied, much pleased with 
his success in diverting her mind from her grief. 
" An' there's another way to get into this room — 
look !" and he touched another clover-leaf, and an- 
other panel slipped, showing an entrance from the 
Little Madam's sunny room. They looked in. 


The Little Madam was not there, but the cocka- 
too greeted them with a shout — " Halloo, my 

" The story 's about Grandfather Heath, when 
he was a boy, you know, in Revolutionary times," 
said Ned, closing the panel into the Little Mad- 
am's room. " His father was in the Continental 
army, an' there was a wounded spy hid in this 
room — an American spy, you know. He'd got 
away, an' the British were after him. An' they 
caught gran'pa one day when he was berrying 
with his sister, an' asked him questions till they 
found out he knew something, an* then they tried 
to make him tell — coaxed him, you know, an' of- 
fered him money ; but he was true blue, an' 
wouldn't tell, an' then they tried to scare him. 
But they couldn't scare him either, an' then they 
just carried him off, an' his mother 'n sister didn't 
know where." 

" Poor things !" said Dolly, with beaming eyes, 
divided between her sympathy for the sorrowing 
mother and sister, and her admiration for the 
pluck shown by her youthful grandfather. 

" Well, they took him to headquarters, where 
the biggest officer was, an* he tried to scare him 
too, an' he couldn't. He would not tell" 

" Oh, wasn't he splendid !" broke in Dolly again. 

" An' then they put him down cellar, an' in the 
night the loveliest lady came down an' wrapped 
him in her shawl — for he was a little fellow, you 


know, only ten — an' took him on her own white 
horse an* brought him home, ever 'n ever so many- 
miles, an* his mother was mighty glad when he 
burst into the kitchen, you bet ! an' the lady gave 
him a ring to remember her by — a beauty, too, f 
I've seen it, 'n mother'll show it to you some time, 

"And the spy was hid in this very room !" said 
Dolly, thoughtfully. " But what's in that chest ?" 
she asked, suddenly. 

" Oh, nothing but books," answered Ned. 
" There's where I found * Robin's Journal,' an' 
another book I'll show you some time. It's poe- 
try, but it's prime, if 'tis poetry." 

After that day Dolly used frequently to press 
the big clover -leaf and enter that secret room. 
Sometimes she went to the Little Madam's room 
that way. The Little Madam, too, seemed singu- 
larly interested in this little room. Dolly " won- 
dered " if she had not seen one before. The Lit- 
tle Madam was her ideal of a princess of Udolpho. 
Perhaps she had lived in one of those mysterious 
and delightful castles — who knew? who would 
ever know? Oh, if the Little Madam could only 
remember, could only tell, who and what she was ! 
Well, well, Dolly ! have patience, and you will 
know before long. 

That night they talked it all over with Aunt 
Anna, as usual. As usual, I say, for the twilight 
talk was a fixed fact with which Mrs. Park rarely 


allowed anything to interfere. That was the hour 
for confession, for sympathy, for loving confidence. 
Ned had his own special corner of the sofa in moth- 
er's room — the corner where headaches and heart- 
aches, and all sorts of wounds of body and of spir- 
it, had been treated by the same gentle yet firm 
hand ever since he could remember. And Dolly 
was given the other corner, w r ith Aunt Anna in 
her low rocking-chair in front. 

Dolly propounded what maybe called "her the- 
ory of history," and Aunt Anna said it was a sen- 
sible one. 

" I think," said that wise woman, " that the true 
way to study history is to begin with your own 
town, and then go on to your county, your state, 
etc., etc., till you have taken in the whole world. 
If / were going to teach children the theory of our 
government, I should begin with the town-meet- 
ing, and not, as many do, begin at the wrong end 
with Congress." But then, as Uncle Harry said, 
that was one of " mother's hobbies." 

" I think that's a beautiful story about Grand- 
father Heath when he was a boy. I think it's 
beautiful to have such grandfathers and grand- 
mothers as ours," remarked Dolly, with true an- 
cestral pride. 

"There is a pretty French motto, 'Noblesse 
oblige] and it means that those who are born no- 
ble must do nobly," said Mrs. Park. 

" It was the motto of the old French nobility, 



and very nobly did they live it, many of those who 
fled from France during the terrible Revolution. 
They left all their possessions behind them, and 
were very poor. But they would neither beg nor 
go in debt for food and shelter and clothes. ' No/ 
they said, ■ we are French nobles, and we can do 
none of these things, but we can work and take 
care of ourselves/ And so they taught French 
and music and dancing and sewing. They did any 
kind of work they could get to do, and those deli- 
cately bred ladies did all sorts of household drudg- 
ery. They did not care what the work was if it 
was honest work. They wore old clothes because 
they had not money to buy new ones. But the 
old clothes were always neat. They "patched 
and they darned, for though a French nobleman 
or noblewoman might wear old clothes without 
shame, they must not be slovenly. And they did 
all this with a brave cheerfulness, a self-respecting 
pride, truly noble. They were the true noblesse, 
you see. And that is what you must be, my Ned, 
and you, my Dolly. Take the motto of the old 
French nobility for yours. Feel that because no- 
ble-hearted men and women are your ancestors, 
you, too, must be noble in heart and in life. 

" Scorn to do a mean thing. Be brave like Dor- 
othea Williams. Have the courage of your grand- 
father Heath — moral courage. Dare to be truth- 
ful — dare to be honest — dare to be poor, if need 
be — dare always to do right." 


Mrs. Park had half risen from her chair in her 
eagerness, and she now sank back and there was a 
moment's silence. Then she went to her dressing- 
table, and taking out a box, said, " Here is the ring 
the lovely lady gave my father." It was a some- 
what heavy gold ring, in which was set a blood- 
red ruby. " And this," she continued, holding up 
a long string of gold beads, " this is Dorothea 
Williams's necklace." A small miniature in colors 
hung from the necklace, Dorothea's portrait. It 
was set in a locket of old red gold. 

" This necklace and locket shall be yours, Dolly," 
said Mrs. Park ; " and you certainly do look like 
her, as Aunt Debby said. Ned shall have the ring. 
You two are their only descendants, and whenever 
you look at these heirlooms remember the old 
French motto, 'Noblesse oblige' " 



A FEW days after the twilight talk mentioned 
in the last chapter, the school opened for the win- 
ter. It had not been Mrs. Park's intention to send 
Dolly, but rather to give her lessons at home, yet 
the two seemed so unhappy at the prospect of a 
daily separation — for Ned of course must go — that 
she consented for Dolly to try it at least for a 

It was a rather cold morning, the morning of 
Dolly's introduction to the school -house of the 
middle district, and the box-stove which stood in 
the centre of the school-room was red-hot, and as 
she went in, the teacher, Mr. Emerson, was just in 
the act of smothering Betty Potter's flaming gown, 
which, being of cotton, had caught fire as it touched 
the stove in passing. This stove stood in a box 
of sand, and the ceiling above it was spangled with 
innumerable stars — black on a white firmament — 
which stars Dolly thought at first were intended 
to be decorative. But she afterwards learned that 
they were purely accidental — that the scholars 
were in the habit of thawing out their frozen ink 


on top of the stove, and not infrequently a bottle 
burst, hence the stars. 

The school-room had been planned like most of 
the early New England school-rooms, in loving 
memory of the English schools of Eton and West- 
minster, where many of the immigrants from the 
mother-country had studied and played as boys. 
The desks and benches on either side sloped down 
to an open space in the centre, where stood the 
teacher's desk, and where recitations were heard. 
It was on a somewhat smaller scale than those 
famous English school -rooms, but after all was 
quite as comfortable. It was formerly heated by 
an open fire, but a few years preceding the time of 
which I write, that modern invention the stove 
aforesaid had been introduced. Since then the 
huge fireplace had served as a wood receptacle, 
wherein the pine and oak cord-wood sticks were 
piled far up the gaping chimney. 

The school-house had never been painted inside 
or out ; and while it was what an artist or a color- 
loving person would have called a lovely gray out- 
side, inside the wood-work had mellowed into an 
equally lovely yellowish-brown. 

Both desks and benches had been cut and carved 
by the innumerable jack-knives of generations of 
children, till you could not put your finger on a 
perfectly smooth spot. There were many initials, 
every boy especially having felt called upon to 
carve his on the desk he occupied, and it was not 


unusual to find on the same desk a boy's initials 
with those of his father and grandfather, and in 
rare cases of his great-grandfather. The deep cut- 
tings and carvings interfered with a boy's writing 
somewhat, if he chanced to be writing with only 
a single sheet of his copy-book before him ; for 
when he came to " bear down," as Ned said, on 
the down stroke of a y or a p, " if he didn't look 
out his pen would jab right through the paper into 
a hole." 

One feature of the school-room attracted Dolly's 
attention at once. Above the desks where the boys 
sat, pulleys were fixed to the ceiling by which the 
slates were drawn up at night and lowered in the 
morning, and after the introductory exercises down 
they came with a crash truly appalling to unaccus- 
tomed ears. 

Dolly looked at Mr. Emerson wonderingly. 
Here was a new state of things. In the girls' 
school where she went in Boston the utmost quiet 
was enforced. Would Mr. Emerson permit such 
a racket? would he not speak? But Mr. Emerson 
was placidly turning over his text-books, apparent- 
ly deaf to the noise of the falling slates. 

In truth, the only one thing Mr. Emerson did 
insist upon was perfect lessons. He wo.uld shut 
his eyes and ears to any amount of roguery and 
mischief if only the lessons were thoroughly pre- 
pared. But woe to the unlucky idler or the stu- 
pid boy or girl! For such he had no mercy; 


" idiot " was the mildest term applied to the latter. 
And after all, the results of this system were not 
bad, for a boy or girl cannot indulge in much 
roguery and have perfect lessons at the same time. 

Mr. Emerson himself was a fine scholar who, as 
everybody knew, could command a better place 
and salary than that of master of the middle dis- 
trict school in Byfield. But he chose to remain 
for certain reasons, and the parents were only too 
glad to have him ; and though the boys had be- 
stowed upon him the pet name of " piggy," on ac- 
count of his shrill, almost squealing voice, yet 
they had at heart the utmost respect for him. 

A few days only after school began, Dolly had 
a chance to see how severe he could be with a stu- 
pid scholar. A great lout of a boy was up reciting 
in English grammar. He stammered along in his 
recitation, making blunder after blunder, while Mr. 
Emerson frowned and pshawed and hitched his 
chair restlessly about over the small platform, in 
momentary danger of going over its edge ; and 
when, in answer to a question, the boy replied, 
" Grunters and liables," instead of " Gutturals and 
labials," Mr. Emerson's patience gave way, and 
with one prolonged hitch over he went upon the 
floor. But he was on his feet in an instant, and 
shrieking at the top of his voice, " There, I'm not 
dead yet, thank the Lord — but I shall be if that 
recitation goes on. Go to your seat, sir !" — he sent 
his text-book flying after the retreating boy. 


So school was to Dolly neither stale nor unprof- 
itable. Mr. Emerson's eccentricities amused her, 
and being a good scholar she did not fall under 
his displeasure. His sarcasm was at times truly- 
terrible. How Dolly did pity big, awkward Betty 
Potter, when one day she came tumbling into the 
school-room after a romp at snowballing, loudly 
exclaiming, " Oh, how hot *f am ! how I do sweat !" 
and Mr. Emerson, turning upon her those awful 
spectacles of his, said in his most cutting tones, 
" Horses sweat, Miss Potter, and men perspire, but 
young ladies glow." Dolly's pity, however, might 
as well have been reserved, for Betty, not being a 
sensitive lass, only giggled at the rebuke given to 
her uncouthness. 

In due time came the first night of spelling- 
school. Dolly had asked Ned if spelling- school 
was "nice," and he had replied with his usual 
formula, " Yes, jolly fun !" 

The school-room was lighted on spelling-school 
night by home-made tallow- candles, dipped or 
moulded, as the case might be. As each boy and 
girl brought one, the illumination was decidedly 
brilliant. You who despise this method, and may 
question the truthfulness of my statement, must 
remember, however, that even in these days of 
gas and the electric light the winter palace of the 
Tzar of all the Russias is lighted with candles — of 
wax, to be sure ; for as Theophile Gautier says, 
" Nowhere, save in Russia, does the bee still con- 


tribute the illumination ;" and light js the same, 
whether shed by a candle of wax or of tallow. 

But in the matter of candlesticks there was 
great diversity. In this respect the middle district 
school-room failed when compared with the palace 
of the Tzar. He has gorgeous chandeliers and 
candelabra, while each boy and girl, with rare ex- 
ceptions, was left to exercise his or her own inge- 
nuity in providing candlesticks, or, to speak more 
exactly, candle -holders for spelling- school night. 
Many of these holders were made out of flat tur- 
nips and beets, and when cut in the likeness of 
roses or dahlias were really triumphs of art and 
quite pretty. 

These vegetable holders were preferred by the 
girls generally, because they were easily cut, but 
as they had to be renewed each night, the greater 
part of the boys whittled out their candelabra 
once for all from blocks of wood. A very few, 
not disposed to do any work they could avoid, 
dropped a little melted tallow on the desk, stuck 
their candle into it, and the tallow, quickly hard- 
ening, held it upright. This last method, however, 
was frowned down upon by the authorities, as the 
candle, burning down, was apt to set the desk on 

None but members of the day-school were per- 
mitted to take part in the spelling-school, although 
any who chose could come as lookers-on, and many 
did so choose, both old and young. 


Ned and Betty Potter were the leaders for that 
evening, and they drew lots for first choice ; and 
the choice falling to Ned, he named Dolly, not 
only because he liked to have her next him, but, 
above all, because she was a first-rate speller. For, 
with all his pleasure in Dolly's comradeship, it is 
probable she would not have been chosen first had 
she not possessed the last-named qualification ; for 
these spelling contests were hot and fierce, and the 
first consideration with each leader was to secure 
all the best spellers he could on his side. 

The two lines of battle were soon formed, the 
poorest spellers being left to the last. These the 
first fire, as usual, brought down, and the floor was 
quickly cleared of all but the few good ones, who 
obstinately stood their ground. The champion- 
ship was contested long and stoutly, till at last 
Ned was " floored," and only one was left on ei- 
ther side — Dolly and Betty Potter. 

" Receive " was the word Mr. Emerson gave out 

It was Dolly's turn, and she knew how to spell 
" receive " — of course she did — but was it ei or ie? 

It is said, " He who hesitates is lost ;" and wheth- 
er true or not in morals, it is unquestionably true 
in spelling, as we all know. 

Ei or ie — that was the question; and Dolly, 
whose decision must be made promptly, as it was 
one of the rules of the contest that there should 
be " no waiting," was just on the point of spelling, 


having made up her mind to the z>, when Ned 
whispered softly but incisively, " r-e-c-e-i-v-e," and 
Dolly repeated it after him — not with any triumph- 
al feeling, it must be confessed, for she knew at 
once she had no right to do so. 

The next word brought down Betty, and Dolly 
was declared victor, and decorated with the pretty 
silver badge, which she was to wear till the cham- 
pionship should pass on to some better speller. 

Both Dolly and Ned went home that night feel- 
ing extremely uncomfortable, although Ned tried 
to think that Dolly would have spelled "receive" 
all right, even if he had not whispered. But both 
avoided the subject with suspicious persistency, 
and talked about anything and everything but the 
spelling. They drank the hot ginger -tea which 
Thankful had in readiness for them, to keep them 
from taking cold, for it was her maxim that " a pint 
of hot ginger-tea before the cold is taken is better 
than a quart of salts and senna after. ,, And then 
they briefly bade Mrs. Park " good -night, " de- 
claring there was " nothing to tell," and they were 
" dreadfully tired." 

Nothing to tell ! Dolly heartily wished there 
wasn't, as she tossed restlessly in bed, until she 
finally made up her mind to such a course of con- 
duct as brought peace, and then she fell sound 

The next morning Ned had a raging toothache, 
and his face was so swollen that he could not see 


out of one eye, and his mother said he could not 
go to school, though he begged hard to be allow- 
ed to do so. He had reasons. 

"Dolly, what are you going to do?" he sudden- 
ly asked, after studying her face attentively. 

"Do? why, go to school, to be sure," she said, 
evasively, tying her hood, and pulling on a pair of 
sable-backed mittens that were the envy of all the 

"You know that isn't what I mean," remon- 
strated Ned, as well as he could, with one cheek 
feeling as though there were a cannon-ball in it. 
" Where's your badge ?" 

" In my pocket. And how should I know what 
you mean, Ned, if you don't say it ?" And Dolly 
threw back a laughing, defiant glance as she ran 
out and closed the door behind her. 

Ned groaned. " Oh dear ! I s'pose I know what 
she's going to do, and I wish I was going to be 
there ;" and he proved so " fractious " all the 
morning, that Thankful, as she assisted his moth- 
er in poulticing his swollen face, lost all patience, 
and said she " b'lieved 't do him good to go away 
'n let him ache a spell." But Mrs. Park, with true 
motherly instinct, had divined that the toothache 
and swollen face, bad as they were, were not the 
sole cause of the fractiousness, and waited upon 
him and coddled him with infinite patience. 

When Dolly came home to dinner she was as 
inscrutable as the Egyptian sphinx, and refused 


to open her lips about anything but the ordinary 
school routine. But she looked very happy, and 
when Ned asked her if she still had the badge in 
her pocket, said, " No." 

The next morning, the swelling having sub- 
sided, Ned went to school and heard the whole 

Dolly had made up her mind, before falling 
asleep that night, that she would give the badge 
to its rightful winner and confess her wrong-doing. 
But the next morning she found it required quite 
as much resolution to stick to her decision as it 
did to make it. So all the morning, while at break- 
fast and on the way to school, she kept bracing 
herself up with those words of Aunt Anna's, "Dare 
always to do right — dare always to do right," Over 
and over and over she said them. " It isn't so 
easy a thing to do, after all," she thought. "It's 
easy enough talking about it." 

She waited until the close of the introductory 
exercises, and then raised her hand. 

Now, Mr. Emerson was in one of his very worst 
moods that morning, and that is saying a good 
deal. He was a dyspeptic at all times, and he had 
taken for breakfast both sausages and coffee, either 
of which was enough to completely upset his nerv- 
ous poise, and the two together had brought on a 
condition of things truly frightful. 

As Dolly raised her hand he nodded fiercely. 
She went forward to his desk and laid the badge 


upon it, saying, timidly, " I want to return this, 
please. " 

" What for?" he demanded, and the words came 
out like an explosive, and the glance he fixed upon 
her was hard and piercing as a steel blade. It was 
not encouraging. 

" Because — because it doesn't belong to me," 
stammered Dolly. 

"Why not?" he asked, waxing more irate with 
each question. 

" Because I did not know how to spell ' receive/ ' 
replied Dolly, in a barely audible voice. 

" But you did spell it !" Oh, how the angry 
eyes flashed. 

" But," said Dolly, hesitating now more and 
more between each word — " somebody told me." 

" Who?" shrieked Mr. Emerson in most piercing 
tones, and laying his hand on the ferule beside him. 

He was evidently " spoiling for a fight," as Cy 
Pratt told Ned afterwards. 

Here was a dilemma that Dolly had not antici- 
pated. She had not dreamed, when resolving to 
confess her own fault, that she would be bringing 
some one else into trouble, and that one to be Ned, 
of all others ! 

A moment she stood silent while she weighed 
the question — Ought I to tell? No, was the de- 
cision. I may and must confess my own wrong- 
doing, but I am not obliged to confess the wrong- 
doing of others. 


" Who ?'■ demanded Mr. Emerson again, bringing 
his ferule down upon his desk with a whack that 
made everybody in the room jump. 

" I cannot tell/' replied Dolly, firmly, but re- 

" Which means that you will not," he said, in a 
measured tone, more terrible even than his former 
shriek. He compressed his lips. " Do you mean 
to say that you will not tell?" he again asked. 

•* Oh, I can't," said Dolly, lifting up to his face 
a pair of pleading eyes that would have melted the 
soul of any mortal not in the grasp of a black dys- 

" Hold out your hand," he said, taking up his 
ferule ; and Dolly, without an instant's hesitation, 
held out her plump little hand, with its pink finger- 
tips, while she summoned all her firmness to meet 
the coming blow. She had never been struck in 
her life. " But somehow, Ned," she said, when she 
told him all about it, u I didn't care one mite about 
the blow. I knew it was a disgrace, but it wasn't 
a disgrace like acting that lie when I took the 
badge. I think, Ned, when that big ferule came 
down on my hand, I saw just how mean that lie 
looked." v 

But if Dolly did not mind the blow, its effect 
on Mr. Emerson was prompt and decisive. He 
raised the ferule for a second blow, then dropped 
it suddenly upon the desk. 

" Take your seat," he said, sternly ; " and you," 


turning to his gaping pupils, " take your books," 
and an unusual silence reigned in that school-room 
for the remainder of the morning session. 

At noon he stopped Dolly as she was leaving 
the room. 

" I wish to speak with you," he said ; and when 
they were alone he continued : " I desire to ask 
your pardon for that blow, Miss Dorothea. I had 
no right to punish you for such a cause. I will not 
commend you for confessing your fault, your de- 
ception, for that was only doing right — doing what 
you ought to do ; but the other involved no ques- 
tion of right — it was more a matter of honor — and 
no sense of right required you to betray the person 
who told you how to spell the word, and I sincere- 
ly ask your pardon." 

Dolly was so utterly taken by surprise at this 
speech that she could only gasp, " Oh, please don't, 
Mr. Emerson . 'twas only just what I deserved." 

As to Ned, great was his wrath when he heard 
Cy Pratt's version of the affair, but after hearing 
Dolly's he remarked, in a subdued tone, " Well, 
Piggy's a prime old brick, after all ;" and feeling 
that he must have some vent for his emotions or 

burst, he went out and sawed and split wood till 


Thankful said " the m'lennium must be comin'." 

The next day he made a manly confession of his 
own share in the affair to Mr. Emerson. 



Yes, Cousin Kitty has arrived. She has been 
looked for at any time from the first chapter of 
this narrative, and here she is at last, arrived in its 
tenth. " Better late than never," however, at least 
so far as Cousin Kitty's arrival is concerned, as 
Dolly herself would have told you, who fell in love 
at first sight with this new and foreign cousin. 

Cousin Kitty has come from a region far away, 
if distance is to be measured by the time required 
to make it — and that would seem to be the fair 
way to measure space. She has come from Eng- 
land in a packet-ship, and has had a tempestuous 
passage, a seven-weeks' tossing on the boisterous 

She is Uncle Harry's niece and Ned's cousin. 
She is not a cousin of Dolly's, but being Ned's 
cousin, Dolly claims a relationship, and Cousin 
Kitty gladly and graciously admits the claim. 

Cousin Kitty is a young woman of twenty or 
thereabouts, and she went to live in England when 
she was six, and has, therefore, very vague ideas 
concerning her native land. Her father is a well- 
known London banker. She will stay in America 



two years, and expects to learn a great deal about 
it and its people during that time. She stopped 
in Boston five days before taking the stage for 

" When I was in Boston I saw Scollay Square, 
and Bunker Hill, and the Common, and Daniel 
Webster, ,, she was saying one day at dinner, soon 
after her arrival. " But I did not see the famous 
beauty, Emily Otis. I don't know but I wanted 
to see her more than the other things, but she was 
out of town/' 

" You'll have a chance to see her before you go 
back, without doubt, and she's probably as well 
worth seeing as anything you name, unless its 
Webster," replied Mrs. Park. 

" Oh yes, we've heard about her in London. 
N. P. Willis went into raptures over her, and 
couldn't say enough about her beauty, and her 
graciousness, and her endless charms of mind and 
person," laughed Cousin Kitty. 

" And for once, certainly, he could not have gone 
far beyond the truth," was Mrs. Park's reply. 

"And is she so very beautiful?" asked Cousin 
Kitty. " Have you ever seen her?" 

" Oh, I have !" put in Dolly, eagerly, " ever and 
ever so many times ; and oh, Cousin Kitty, she is 
so beautiful!" 

" Where have you seen her, Dot ?" asked Cousin 
Kitty, who had bestowed a new pet name on 


11 Why, at her own home, don't you know ? I and 
her sister Marianne are very, very intimate friends." 

" Then you are the very one to tell me about 
her," said Cousin Kitty, turning with great anima- 
tion to Dolly. " You can't be envious of her be- 
cause she is so much older than you, and you can 
tell me the exact truth. What is the color of her 
eyes i 

" A lovely dark, almost black." 

"And is she tall?" 

" Yes, tall like mamma." 

"And her hair?" 

" That is dark, too ; a dark brown, and it gleams 
in the light like—" 

" Oh !" interrupted Cousin Kitty, " did you ever 
see her dressed — really dressed — for a party, I 
mean ?" 

" Oh yes, many, many times ; that is one of our 
treats, Marianne's and mine." 

" Tell me about it ; tell me how she was 

" Well," replied Dolly, thinking a moment, " I 
remember one time especially, because Marianne 
and I were so impatient to see her, and kept run- 
ning to her room — her maid was dressing her, you 
know — but she wouldn't let us in. She was going 
that night to a reception at Gardiner Greene's, on 
Pemberton Square — " 

" Yes, I saw that place. There's a lovely green 
lawn in front of it," interrupted Cousin Kitty. 


" And we kept teasing, an* by-an'-by she said, 
1 Now, girls, if you will only stay in the nursery 
till quarter before nine you shall come then and 
look at me to your heart's content/ And we did 
look at her just as long as we liked, and she was 
like a picture, only lovelier than any picture could 
possibly be, I think." 

" Ah, Dotty, you might be her lover," laughed 
Cousin Kitty. 

" And I do love her dearly," was the earnest re- 

" Tell me how her hair was dressed that night." 

" It was dressed high up on her head, and she 
wore a big shell comb like one mamma has, and her 
front hair in little puffs, with curls behind her ears, 
fastened with side combs. But I don't think it 
was her hair, nor her shining eyes, nor her smiling 
mouth that made her look so beautiful, but some- 
thing shining through." 

" Dolly speaks better than she knows," said Mrs. 
Park. " Emily's lovely character gives the finish- 
ing grace to her marvellous personal beauty." 

" Ah ! how you excite my desire to see her, you 
and Dolly," said Cousin Kitty. " But you haven't 
told me how she was dressed. What jewels did 
she wear — pearls or diamonds?" 

" She wore a white lawn gown with low neck 
and short sleeves," said Dolly. 

" No jewels ! Not a bracelet nor a necklace ! 
Are you sure, Dolly?" 


" Very sure." 

" You must know, Kitty, that we in Byfield feel 
a special pride in her beauty ; we claim a sort of 
ownership in her, in fact, as her mother is a native 
of this town." 

" No, I did not know that." 

" Yes, she lived in that old Revolutionary house 
I showed you yesterday. She was married young, 
and I remember her coming from Boston soon 
after, and how lovely she looked to my young eyes 
in a riding-habit of deep blue. She was an ex- 
ceedingly handsome and graceful woman, but not 
so beautiful as her daughter Emily." 

" I think nobody could be so beautiful as she," 
said Dolly. 

" Percival has written a poem about her, begin- 


" l Maid of the laughing lip and frolic eye P " 

said Aunt Anna; " and when she was married, N. P. 
Willis wrote an absurd thing. It was a rainy day, 
and he said Nature was in tears because Emily 
Marshall had ceased to be a society woman and 
become a wife." 

11 Oh, when she was married — " began Dolly. 

" Did you see her married?" eagerly interrupted 
Cousin Kitty. 

" No," replied Dolly, " but I marked a pocket- 
handkerchief for her, and it was a part of her wed- 
ding-dress. She asked me to, but x couldn't find 


any black silk fine enough, so I begged some of 
mamma's hair, which is black, you know, and I 
marked it with that, and she liked it. And then 
next day I helped cut the wedding-cake, and we 
children had great fun eating goodies and laugh- 
ing ; and in the midst of it she came in, and oh, 
Cousin Kitty, wasn't she lovely !" and Dolly drew 
a long sigh, as a lassie might after looking long at 
one of Fra Angelico's angels. 

"Oh, you lucky child, you !" said Cousin Kitty. 
" I believe I should be almost willing to take to 
the nursery again to see her as you have." 

" I know a woman in London, " she continued, 
"who saw the beautiful Recamier in her prime, 
and she talks about her just as you talk of Emily 
MarshalL ,, 

"They were alike in one respect," said Mrs. 
Park. " They fascinated everybody, young and 
old, men and women, alike." 

"Yes; and I am told the little ragamuffins of 
Boston followed Emily Marshall about and ad- 
mired her, just as the little Savoyards of Paris did 
Madame Recamier," said Cousin Kitty. 

" Oh, I do hope you will see her, Cousin Kitty," 
said Dolly, fervently, taking up her spoon and re- 
turning to the business of the hour — the eating of 
custard pudding ; for time had flown while they 
had been talking, and it was already school-time. 

And now let me tell you, just here, lest you 
may think Dolly's admiration of her lovely friend 


exaggerated, what Josiah Quincy, who was him- 
self a young man when Emily Marshall was in the 
pride of her beauty, says of her in his recent book, 
" Figures of the Past :" 

" Centuries are likely to come and go before so- 
ciety will again gaze spellbound upon a woman 
so richly endowed with beauty as was Miss Emily 
Marshall. . . . She was simply perfect in face and 
figure, and perfectly charming in manners.' , 

And I must also tell you what Dolly did not 
tell Cousin Kitty, that the handkerchief she marked 
was of a fabric so fine that it took a long time to 
do it ; and said handkerchief was three-quarters of 
a yard square, and carried in the bride's hand, as 
was the fashion of the day. 

In the mean time, Ned, not as yet especially in- 
terested in feminine beauty, had betaken himself 
to the kitchen, and Dolly not forthcoming at the 
proper time, he had gone off to school. 

Dolly finished her pudding, spent some time 
looking for Ned, and when Thankful answered the 
look of inquiry she sent through the half -open 
kitchen door by saying, " He's be'n gone t' school 
this half-hour," it was then a good half-hour after 

So she hurried into her " things," spending an- 
other five minutes searching for her mislaid scarf, 
and as she hurried she grew unreasonable. 

"Why couldn't Ned have told me when he was 
going?" she said, impatiently, forgetting that it 


was as much her business as his to look after the 
time. And as she trudged along alone over the 
half mile between the tavern and the school-house, 
she waxed crosser and more unreasonable, and 
when, as she opened the school -room door, she 
heard the last line of " John Gilpin/' her vexation 
was complete. 

Twice every week some member of the first 
class in reading was permitted to make a selec- 
tion for the reading-lesson of the day, and almost 
invariably the choice fell on "The Diverting His- 
tory of John Gilpin/' by William Cowper. There 
were two good reasons for this. In the first place, 
"John Gilpin " was considered exquisitely funny; 
and, secondly, somebody had discovered that it 
could be sung to the tune of " Auld Lang Syne ;" 
and Mr. Emerson, indulgent, as we have seen, in 
certain directions, permitted them so to sing the 
last verse. So, after the preceding sixty-two verses 
had been read "in turn," the whole school broke 
simultaneously into — 

u Now let us sing, Long live the king, 

And Gilpin, long live he ; 
And when he next doth ride abroad, 
May I be there to see, 17 

singing with great vim and utter recklessness as to 
time and tune, but with the utmost enjoyment. 
It was always a "jolly lark," and to have missed it 
added the final straw to Dolly's displeasure and to 
her estimate of Ned's shortcomings. She took her 


seat without once looking at him, as she would or- 
dinarily have done ; and Ned, waiting to give her 
a friendly nod, wondered, but concluded that she 
was in such a hurry, her geography lesson coming 
next, that she didn't think of him. But as the af- 
ternoon passed, and Dolly persisted in looking ev- 
erywhere but in his direction, and, when school 
closed, hurried off with Priscilla Martin without 
stopping to speak to him, he began to wonder 
what was the matter. 

He shouted after her, " Ho, Dolly ! wait for 
me !" but she neither turned nor spoke. And he 
had such a jolly story to tell her, too, about 'Lipha- 
let Taft ! 'Liphalet was always furnishing jolly 
stories for their amusement ; his blunders were so 
irresistibly funny ! He lived in Turkey Swamp, 
with two old aunts, far from any other habitation. 
He first came out into the world when he was 
eight years old, and was stricken with terror at the 
sight of the town pump. A spring supplied the 
old aunts with water, and he had never imagined 
anything so dreadful as this creature, with its long 
arm and gaping spout. Would it eat him? and 
he utterly refused to go by it. 

He was now twelve, and could barely read. Mr. 
Emerson had called him up, directly after the 
opening of the afternoon session, for a five min- 
utes' lesson in geography. He had been trying 
for several days to infuse into his dull brain some 
idea of the tropics. 


" Name one tropical fruit," he said at last, in 

"Flapjacks!" promptly answered 'Liphalet ; 
which answer brought down the school in a burst 
of laughter, in which Mr. Emerson joined. 'Li- 
phalet evidently had caught the idea that tropical 
fruits were the product of a warm place, and so 
said " flapjacks" at a venture. And Ned did so 
want to tell Dolly this story. 

But Dolly did not make her appearance at the 
tavern till supper-time, when she greeted Cousin 
Kitty with effusion, and then fell to eating her 
bread-and-milk without looking at Ned. Mrs. 
Park saw that something was wrong, but, with a 
wisdom that it is a pity could not be more gen- 
erally practised, said nothing. She shook her head 
slightly at Cousin Kitty, who seemed about to 
speak, and then they two went on talking about 
mutual acquaintances in Boston and elsewhere, 
and no notice was taken of the silent pair. 

There was no twilight conference in mother's 
room that night:' Ned went off to the barn, where 
'Zekle was husking, and looked in only to say 
" Good -night" when it was time to go to bed. 
Dolly read " Robin's Journal," or pretended to, 
but Aunt Anna's observant eyes noted that the 
pages were very slowly turned, and the narrative 
did not seem to possess its usual absorbing in- 
terest. She went off to bed earlier than usual, 
and cried herself to sleep. 


? Foolish Dolly ! why didn't she make up ? Why, 
indeed. Why don't we always make up at once 
when we quarrel with those we love ? Why do we 
keep on making their hearts ache and our own 
too? Why do we ever begin a quarrel, for that 
matter? It was a little thing that began this quar- 
rel, but then, as a general thing, quarrels always 
do begin in little things. Give up ? No, never ! 
Let us stick it out, though it half kills us and the 
one we love too ! 

So Dolly, despite the tears and heartache, came 
down to breakfast the next morning resolved to 
keep up her cool behavior till Ned should do— 
what ? Well, I don't think Dolly could have told 
exactly what she did expect Ned to do ; but of 
one thing she was sure — she was going to make 
him feel as badly as she could. 

And Ned, now thoroughly exasperated by Dol- 
ly's behavior, had resolved, on his part, to make 
no more advances. (He had passed the bread to 
her at supper the night before, meaning the act as 
a friendly overture, and she had taken a piece with- 
out looking at him or thanking him.) He guessed 
he could stand it as long as Dolly could. 

So the two met in the breakfast - room with a 
cold " good -morning," for neither liked, in the 
presence of the family, to be guilty of the dis- 
courtesy of not speaking at all at this first meet- 
ing of the day. The breakfast went off very like 
the supper of the night before, the rest keeping 


up an animated conversation, while Dolly and Ned 
ate in absolute silence. 

Ned went off to school alone, and Dolly called 
for Priscilla Martin, and she and Priscilla got up 
the most surprising intimacy, promenading to and 
from school with their arms about each other's 
waists, and whispering together apart in the most 
confidential manner at recess. Now, Dolly had 
never liked Priscilla ; and as to Ned, he " couldn't 
bear her," and never called her anything but 
" Pris ;" and I am afraid that was one reason why 
Dolly made such a parade of their sudden inti- 

At night the twilight talk was once more omit- 
ted, and Aunt Anna's heart ached for the two 
wayward creatures, who were evidently as unhap- 
py as they could be ; but she still kept her neutral 
position, and cautioned Cousin Kitty, who was in- 
clined to try to persuade them to make up. 

"No," said Aunt Anna, "it is better they should 
find their way out of this alone. They are both 
thoroughly miserable, and I want it to be a les- 
son they will not soon forget. I have questioned 
Thankful, and I do not think there is any really 
serious grievance at the bottom." 

The next morning Dolly's resolution was some- 
what shaken. She had passed a miserable night. 
She had been restless and wakeful, and when she 
had slept had dreamed of Ned. In one dream he 
was far up some steep height where she could not 


reach him. In another he was sailing away in a 
boat, leaving her on the shore. In still another 
she was seeking him through a wild, tangled 
wood. She looked rather piteously at him when 
he came in to breakfast, and if he had shown the 
least sign of relenting, the quarrel would have 
probably ended then and there, for they were 
alone. But Ned only said " Good -morning," just 
as he might have said it to " Pris" Martin or any- 
body else that he hated, and walked up and began 
drumming on the window-pane, and Aunt Anna 
and Cousin Kitty coming in directly, the oppor- 
tunity for making up at that time was lost. 

Neither had much appetite for breakfast, and 
Dolly looked so pale and unhappy, Aunt Anna 
began to think she might be obliged, after all, to 
abandon her neutrality. Ned stopped at his third 
buckwheat, and asking to be excused, left the 
room, remarking casually, just as he closed the 
door, that he was going to look after his traps. 

His traps ! This was the way, then, he was go- 
ing to pay her off! Dolly fairly choked as she 
tried to drink her mug of milk, but she made a 
brave and successful effort not to give way to 
tears. But wasn't it cruel in Ned to say that, 
when he knew how much she wanted to go ! He 
was a cruel, cruel boy, and she hated him ! And for 
a brief interval the spirit of evil took possession of 

Those traps he had set were not steel-traps, that 


might catch some little creature by the leg and 
tear it frightfully ; they were big box-traps, that 
would hold their prisoners firmly but tenderly, and 
Ned was hoping to catch a white rabbit for Dol- 
ly's own. Dolly knew just where that rabbit-trap 
was set, under a laurel -bush by the side of the 

It was only Thursday morning, and this was 
Saturday, that she went with Ned to set those 
very traps. How far away it seemed, and how 
happy they were that morning! How sweet the 
breath of the pine woods ! how merry the flocks 
of chickadees in the oaks ! What a pretty wood- 
land carpet the trailing partridge -vine, with its 
scarlet berries, made in the sunny openings ! And 
the feathery princess-pine and the trailing ground- 
pine, what loads of them they brought home ! and 
together they hung them about the Little Mad- 
am's room. How good Ned was that day ! (At 
this thought the spirit of evil spread its wings and 
made ready for flight.) How he helped her to 
climb up to the crow's nest in the tall pine ! How 
good he was, anyway ! Ah ! Ned's goodness was 
a dangerous subject to contemplate in Dolly's 
then state of mind, and she quickly turned her at- 
tention to the apple -fritters which Thankful was 
heaping on her plate sympathizingly. 

Dear, grim, crusty, tender-hearted Thankful! 
She couldn't bear, as she said afterwards, to see 
" them child'en makin' themselves miser'ble f'r 


nothin'. 'F they only waited a spell they'd have 
plenty o' misery 'thout makin' it" 

Ned got back from his traps a little before noon. 
He came back much subdued. He had not had a 
happy time. He had found nothing in his traps, 
and every step of the way he had seen something 
that made him think of Dolly. Here was where 
he fixed the stones for her to cross the brook. 
There were the white birches from the tops of 
which they had swung, climbing up to the very 
tip -top of the tree, then clutching it with both 
hands and swinging clear, while the supple tree 
bent till their feet almost touched the ground. 
How fearlessly Dolly had swung off ! — she wasn't 
one bit afraid. 

There, too, was the big pine they had climbed 
together, while he told her how once he went up 
that same tree for crows' eggs, and came down 
bringing one in his mouth because he had to use 
both hands in climbing, and when he jumped from 
the last branch the jar broke it, and it was addled 
— faugh ! and how merrily Dolly laughed ! She 
was a jolly girl, anyhow, and he liked her better 
than any girl he knew ; and he wished she hadn't 
gone round with that hateful " Pris" Martin, and — 
" I'll go home an' ask her what's the matter, any- 
way, an' we'll make up, I guess." 

And now I must tell you how they did make up 
their quarrel, and how droll it was that Skatta should 
have been the one, after all, to help make it up. 


They were standing each by a window of the 
sitting-room. Aunt Anna, wise Aunt Anna, had 
gone out and left them together. Each was wait- 
ing to speak, and each was hoping the other would 
say something to break the ice. 

Skatta was in the side -yard, where 'Zekle had 
turned her for exercise. She was prancing up and 
down, tossing her head, kicking up her heels, and 
investigating everything within reach of her nose. 
At last she espied the clothes-pin basket hanging 
high, with the Little Madam's blue-eyed cat curled 
comfortably therein, on top of the clothes-pins. 
That clothes-pin basket was a favorite resort of 
the blue -eyed cat. Skatta trotted up to it and 
put up her nose in a friendly way, but kitty re- 
sented the familiarity and returned Skatta's gen- 
tle touch with a vicious scratch. Skatta turned 
instantly, and lifting her heels, sent kitty and bas- 
ket and clothes-pins spinning high into the air, and 
then trotted off with a satisfied whinny, while kitty 
landed upon the wood-shed roof, spitting furiously. 

Then Ned and Dolly laughed outright, the ice 
was broken, and Ned, crossing over to Dolly's 
window, put his hand on her shoulder and said, 
" I say, Dolly, let's go this afternoon and look at 
those traps again." And Dolly replied, with some- 
what " tearfu' een," " How good you are, Ned !" 

And so ended their first and last real quarrel ; 
and on the way to the traps Ned told her the 
" flapjack" story. 




Old Bill had been transferred (at Ned's special 
desire) from the stable to the stall beside Skatta, 
and one morning while they (Ned and Dolly) were 
taking care of their respective horses, Ned sudden- 
ly stopped his currying of old Bill, struck an atti- 
tude, and recited the following : 

u And from their traces loosed 
Their sweating horse t which severally with headstalls they 

And fasten d by their chariots ; when others brought from 

Fat sheep and oxen, instantly, bread, wine, and hewed down 
Huge store of wood. The winds transferred into the friendly 

Their supper's savor ; to the which they sat delightfully, 
And spent all night in open field ; fires round about them 

As when about the silver moon, when air is free from wind, 
And stars shine clear, to whose sweet beams high prospects and 

the brows 
Of all steep hills and pinnacles thrust up themselves for shows, 
And ev^n the lowly valleys joy to glitter in their sight, 
When the unmeasured firmament bursts to disclose her light, 



And all the signs in heavn are seen that glad the shepherd's 

heart ; 
So many fires disclosed their beams, made by the Trojan part 
Before the face of IU071 and her bright turrets showed. ^ 
A thousand courts of guard kept fires, and evry guar a al- 
Fifty stout men, by whom their horse ate oats and hard white 

And all did wishfully expect the silver-throned morn?' 

Ned recited these lines from Chapman's transla- 
tion of Homer as though he liked them and had 
read them a good many times, while Dolly stayed 
her brushing of Skatta's mane and listened with 
all her might. 

"What is that? What a swing there is to it," 
said Dolly. 

"Isn't there? That's what I like — the swing. It's 
the other book I told you I found in the chest in 
the secret chamber. I'll show it to you to-night." 
And so in the evening Ned brought out the big 
old folio, and spent an hour or so reading out to 
Dolly the parts he liked. It was during that even- 
ing that Dolly added another bit to her store of 
historical lore. Cousin Kitty had been peeping 
over her shoulder and reading scraps from Homer 
too when she said, suddenly turning to Aunt Anna, 

" What a charming Penelope the Little Madam 
makes, with her eternal spinning, Aunt Anna ! 
But where is her Ulysses? Is he never coming?" 

" I'm afraid not," replied Aunt Anna. 


" Ulysses !" and Dolly looked up. " What do 
you mean, Cousin Kitty ?" for Dolly was always 

M\ much awake to anything that concerned the 
le Madam. 

"Oh, it's here !" was Cousin Kitty's reply, giv- 
ing the huge folio a lift. u It's in the Odyssey — 
how Penelope spins and spins and waits for Ulysses, 
who has gone to the wars, and by-and-by he comes 
back and they live happy ever after." 

" Oh, Dolly," she exclaimed again, suddenly — 
such a quick, bright, charming, birdlike way Cous- 
in Kitty had — " I saw that beautiful picture of the 
spinning on Boston Common." 

Spinning on Boston Common ! Dolly looked 
puzzled. Surely she never heard of such a thing ! 
When ! how ! What could Cousin Kitty mean ? 

" What ! Did you never hear of that, Dolly?" 
asked Cousin Kitty, rightly interpreting her look. 
" Well, I didn't till I saw the picture, and then I 
hunted it up, of course. The Little Madam and 
her wheel made me think of it. 

" It seems that, once upon a time, when our 
great-grandmammas were young, cloth was scarce 
in Massachusetts ; so it was decreed by the pow- 
ers that were that spinning should be done in every 
family. About that time, too, the Scotch-Irish came 
over from Londonderry, Ireland, bringing their 
pretty wheels for spinning linen, and a spinning 
craze set in; and they had a spinning- school in 
Scollay Square, or where Scollay Square is now, 


and everybody, old and young, rich and poor, fell 
to spinning ; and they even took their wheels on 
to the Common, and a charming sight it must haue 
been, and a humming like a myriad of bees ; ma 
every woman and girl who could wore a gown of 
her own spinning and weaving; and some young 
girls had a spinning-match at the minister's house 
one day, and when they got through they had two 
hundred and thirty skeins of yarn, which they be- 
stowed on the minister, lucky man !" 

One morning as Dolly opened the door of the 
cow -barn, old Bill looked around and whinnied; 
but there was no greeting from Skatta's stall — it 
was empty ! 

It was early, and twilight still lingered in the re- 
cesses of the barn. Dolly drew nearer for a second 
look ; it was possible the first look had deceived 
her. But no, the stall was certainly empty. She 
gazed about her helplessly. Old Bill whinnied 
again and reached out his nose, and the cows chew- 
ed their cud leisurely while waiting for the cow- 
boy to turn them out into the sunny yard. They 
could tell her nothing. 

She flew out of the barn, and meeting Ned, ex- 
claimed, " Oh, Ned, Skatta's gone I" 

" Gone where ?" 

" Oh, I don't know," was the distressed reply. 

" She's somewhere about, I guess ; we'll look 
her up," was Ned's consoling reply. 

Ah yes — perhaps she had only strayed a short 


distance, loosed her halter herself — the little mis- 
chief! — and gone in quest of the green pastures 
of last summer. The cow-boy, when he came to 
muk, doubtless left the door ajar. A little pranc- 
ing, a brief tossing of the heels, and she would 
come to her mistress's call. So they went out and 
looked over the meadows that lay far and wide 
to the south and west, but no Skatta was to be 

Then they searched the barn anew. Perhaps 
she had strayed into an empty manger, and was 
hiding — the rogue ! — as she sometimes hid behind 
a bush in the pasture when. Dolly was looking for 
her. Or she may have leaped the bay for a taste 
of the sweet rowan. These possibilities Ned sug- 
gested by way of comfort, but in neither of these 
places was she to be found. 

They looked under the barn where the sheep 
were kept ; they even instituted inquiries in the 
hen-house and the piggery, but without avail. 

In despair they went back to the empty stall, 
and there an ominous sight presented itself. The 
door of the harness-closet was open — the lock had 
been forced — the saddle and bridle were gone! 
There was but one conclusion to be reached. 

" Somebody has stolen her," said Dolly, and Ned 
was silent. 

" It's that dreadful man again, Aunt Anna/' said 
Dolly, as she told her the heavy news — " the man 
that killed Gaston." 


" That doesn't look reasonable, Dolly," replied 
Aunt Anna. 

But when Aunt Anna came to talk with Un^e 
Harry about it, he said 'twas the only reasonable 

" If they'd really wanted to have stolen a horse, 
they'd have taken Suke or Dapple instead. Be- 
sides, there isn't another Shetland within fifty 
miles, and it's risky taking her — everybody knows 
her. Dolly's right ; it's that fellow, and I'll do my 
best to get him, for there's no knowing what he'll 
be at next." 

" But why should he have stolen Skatta if he 
doesn't want her, as you say," persisted Mrs. Park. 

" For revenge," was Uncle Harry's reply. " The 
child has thwarted him twice, and such fellows are 

And Uncle Harry did do his best. Notices of 
Skatta's disappearance and descriptions of her 
were sent as fast and as far as was possible before 
the era of railroads and telegraph wires. Uncle 
Harry scoured the country far and near searching 
for traces of her ; word was forwarded by stage to 
the police of Boston to be on the watch for a Shet- 
land pony answering the description sent. A de- 
scription of the supposed thief was also sent. 

Every day the stage -driver was questioned for 
news of her, and all along his route people hailed 
him to ask if she had been found, and Dolly 
and her Shetland Skatta shortly became famous, 


if fame consists in having one's name in every- 
body's mouth. 

Everybody, too, learned of Gaston's death, and 
the attempt to rob the Little Madam, and of 
Dolly's escapade at the time of the convention. 
One maiden of thirteen, living in Quincy,, even 
sent Dolly a letter — a delightful letter, too — which 
ran thus : 

" My Dearest Dolly, — I think your life is just 
like a story. Now nothing ever happens to me. 
My dog Gypsy is well and fat. Nobody tries to 
rob us. We haven't any queer Little Madam — 
oh, how I should like to see yours ! I do quite 
envy you, having such romantic things happening 
all the time. My little brother got lost the other 
day, but we found him right away, and he was 
only asleep on one of the pigs. Nothing happens 
to us. I have longed, ever since I read the ' Mys- 
teries of Udolpho,' that something would happen, 
or I could see something horrid — like a skeleton 
or something, you know. But our house is span- 
dy new, and there isn't even a dark closet in it. 
And somebody told me there's a secret room in 
your tavern. Oh, how lovely ! Do you suppose 
anybody was ever boarded up in it, and died in it, 
as they did in ' Marmion ?' Oh, it must be so 
interesting to live in a house with a secret cham- 
ber ! It would make me crawl all over, nights, to 
think of it. Do you ever go into it alone ? and 


wasn't it splendid to get shut up in the meeting 
house ? I should have shrieked if it had been me, 
I know I should. But papa says you are a hero- 
ine. I think it's lovely to be a heroine. But my 
brother Jack — he's an awful tease, and sometimes 
I get awful mad with him — says he never heard of 
a goose being a heroine. I wouldn't have Jack 
know I wrote this letter for anything. He would 
laugh at me so. But I felt I must write to you. 
It's almost as good as writing to Amanda Malvina 
Fitzwilliams in * The Children of the Abbey,' 
Did you ever read that? It's sweet, but I like 
'The Mysteries of Udolpho ' better — it's more 
dreadful. I wish you would write me a letter. 
I should like to be your friend. I should like to 
send you my Gypsy. I love him, but I should 
like to give him to you to comfort you, because 
your Gaston was killed. 

" Your very true and loving friend, 
" Pamela S. Drake." 

Dolly had never heard of this little lady before, 
but she answered the letter. The offer of Gypsy 
quite touched her, but she declined the gift ; and 
although Pamela S. Dfake has nothing further to 
do with this story, the fact may as well be men- 
tioned here that the friendship thus begun has 
proved a life-long one. 

This was the only letter Dolly received on the 
subject, though doubtless, had postage been as 


Aeap then as now, she would have had a peck. 
But letter-writing in those days was a serious busi- 
ness, and postage ran all the way ffom five cents 
to twenty-five for even short distances. 

While Uncle Harry was scouring the country 
for traces of the thieves, 'Zekle and Thankful con- 
stituted themselves a home -guard. 'Zekle fur- 
bished up the big pistol dropped by the thieves 
on the night of the Whig convention, and cleaned 
and loaded his gun anew, while Thankful went to 
bed every night with the biggest carving-knife 
handy on the light-stand by her bed, after having 
searched more vigorously than usual under the 
bed and behind her gowns in the closet for the 
possible man. Everybody in and about the tav- 
ern, if questioned, would have confessed to being 
a trifle " nervous/' but all, with one exception, 
kept a brave front. That exception was Betty, 
the farmer's bouncing daughter, who helped at the 
tavern on extra occasions, and who had been sum- 
moned to assist in the preparations for Thanks- 

Betty's apple -round cheeks and plump waist 
were no proof of courage, and she was quite as 
much of a coward as though she had been slim and 
pale. She saw a robber behind every door, and as 
to looking under her bed o' nights ! — she dared not 
do it ; but having undressed, with one wild leap 
she plunged into the depths of the feather-bed, 
and covering her head with the bedclothes, did 


not emerge therefrom till peremptorily routed by 
Thankful at five o'clock in the morning. 

Thankful delighted in sending her on various 
errands in the evening to remote parts of the tav- 
ern, and Betty would scurry timorously along with 
half-shrieks and little jumps, coming back all out 
of breath, sure she had seen a face peering in at 
a certain window, or heard a hand fumbling at a 
certain door-latch. 

One evening Thankful sent her down cellar for 

" Harrington '11 be 'long 'n a couple o' days, an' I 
might 's well make a beginnin' on the mince-pies," 
said Thankful, by way of explanation. 

(Harrington was the famous wizard who enter- 
tained so many generations of children, and who 
made a yearly visit to Park's Tavern, and exhibit- 
ed in the dancing-hall.) 

Betty did not dare to decline going down cel- 
lar, though her heart sank within her as she took a 
candle and she looked imploringly towards Thank- 
ful, who was cheerfully kneading dough. 

'Zekle was busy examining his gun, which had 
kicked that day when he had fired at a flock of 
migrating geese ; and had he not been so intent 
upon learning the cause of such behavior, he would 
have seen Betty's evident reluctance and gone 
down cellar with her ; for 'Zekle did not approve 
of the tests to which Thankful was continually 
putting Betty's courage. 


But he did not look up, and Thankful went on 
cheerfully kneading, and there was nothing for 
Betty to do but to obey the order and go down 
cellar for the apples. 

The tavern cellar was as rambling in its way as 
the tavern itself. Underneath the principal stair- 
way — there were three — was a dark cave, which 
terminated in an equally dark extension under the 
older part of the tavern. Betty never went down 
these stairs, even in the daytime, without feeling 
as though a hundred invisible hands were ready to 
catch at her ankles. This cellar was divided into 
rooms, and had arches for ashes, and arches for ap- 
ples, and arches for potatoes, and for every other 
kind of a vegetable, each one apparently blacker 
and gloomier than the others. The arch which 
held the particular apple — the Holmes apple — 
which Thankful wanted was at the end of the cel- 
lar farthest from the main staircase, and the brick 
walk leading thither lay along a succession of these 
grewsome arches. 

Thankful was still cheerfully kneading, and 'Ze- 
kle still intent upon his gun, when a piercing 
shriek arose from the cellar directly from under 
their feet ; and in an incredibly short space of 
time — before they could reach the cellar- door, 
in fact — Betty burst into the room, shrieking, 
" I've seen him ! I've seen him !" and sank into a 

"Seen him! seen who?" demanded Thankful, 


shaking her vigorously, for she showed symptoms 
of hysterics. 

" The thief! And oh, he grinned, and opened his 
horrid mouth, and gnashed his teeth at me — and — 
and — I think he had a tail !" she concluded, in a 
whisper, looking fearfully around. 

" Don't be a fool !" said Thankful, contemptu- 
ously. " 'Fraid o' y'r own shadder — a thief with a 
tail ! Well, you are a gump !" and, disgusted be- 
yond measure, Thankful went back to her knead- 

But 'Zekle questioned Betty : " Where d' y' see 
him, Betty ?" 

"In the flat -turnip bin 'n the shadder, an* I 
couldn't make him out first. I saw his eyes, an' I 
says to myself, says I, now, Betty, don't be scared 
't nothing an' then he give a kind o' a fling, an' I 
see his tail !" — lowering her voice and looking fur- 
tively at Thankful. " Oh, 'Zekle, he was horrid — 
wus than horrid !" 

" Diabolical " was probably the word Betty was 
groping after, only she didn't know it. 

Then 'Zekle said he " guessed he'd jest go down 
an' see f'r himself;" and taking his lantern and gun, 
he preceded Betty down the cellar-stairs ; for Bet- 
ty had no thought of remaining behind to be 
scoffed at, and — in modern phrase — to be set down 
upon by Thankful. 

They went slowly and cautiously down the stairs 
and along the brick walk till they came to the flat- 


turnip bin, when 'Zekle suddenly stopped. Yes, 
there were the eyes, sure enough ! — sly, mischiev- 
ous, with a spice of malice in them — peering 
through the darkness, and presently the grinning 
mouth opened, displaying a double row of sharp, 
white teeth. 'Zekle opened the door of the lan- 
tern and threw the full light of the candle into 
the bin. 

" A monkey, by gosh !" he exclaimed, dropping 
his gun in his astonishment. Now, 'Zekle rarely 
used that expletive — hardly twice a year, in fact — 
and his doing so was expressive of extreme sur- 

The monkey, for it was a monkey, had on a 
scarlet coat and a scarlet-and-gilt cocked hat. He 
raised the latter politely, and, coming forward, 
held out his paw to 'Zekle graciously. 

" Wa'al, I vum 'f th' critter don't want t' shake 
hands!" said 'Zekle, taking the monkey's paw. 
" He's 'scaped from th' menadgerl at Braintree. 
I heered 'bout it yest'day. Si Prince was down t' 
Braintree — saw th' richenceros, but th' monkey 's 
gone — couldn't git no track o' him nowheres ; an' 
I'll be hanged 'f this ain't him, clothes an' all ! 

" Wa'al, Betty, no wonder you's scared. We'll 
jest take him up an' interduce him t' Thankful ;" 
and 'Zekle chuckled as he anticipated Thankful's 

They returned, Betty leading the way, carefully 
keeping 'Zekle between herself and the monkey ; 


for, never having seen one before, she did not 
place implicit confidence in 'Zekle's assurance that 
he " wouldn't hurt nobody." 

" Thankful," said 'Zekle, as he opened the kitch- 
en door, " let me interduce the thief ; an* he has 
got a tail, sure." 

The monkey, whisking by 'Zekle and Betty, 
doffed his hat with a low bow to the astonished 
Thankful, and then, his natural love of mischief 
getting the better of his artificial politeness, he 
leaped upon the table, snatched from the knead- 
ing-bowl the elastic ball of dough, and began toss- 
ing it to the ceiling and catching it. 

It was impossible not to laugh at the creature's 
pranks. Even Thankful gave way, and the noise 
brought Ned and Dolly, together with Cousin 
Kitty, from the sitting - room, where they were 
having a romping game of blind-man's-buff; for 
Cousin Kitty was trying every method to cheer 
Dolly during the uncertainty concerning Skatta. 

After some consultation, it was decided to chain 
their unexpected though not wholly unwelcome 
guest near the fireplace, to give him a mat upon 
which to lie, and an old shawl wherewith to wrap 
himself up. 

" F'r they're cold critters, monkeys are," said 
'Zekle, " an' sly, too— 'tarnal sly." " Sly as J. B.," 
'Zekle would probably have said, had he been ac- 
quainted with Dickens ; but this was before the 
creation of the delightful " Dombey and Son." 


Thankful herself went down cellar this time for 
fresh " emptins " for a new batch of dough, while 
Betty went off to bed, with the comfortable as- 
surance that for once, at least, she hadn't been 
"scared at nothinV Absorbed in this pleasant 
reflection, she forgot to make her usual leap and 
plunge, and so got into bed in a civilized manner. 



A WEEK had elapsed from the date of Skatta's 
disappearance, and every effort to find some trace 
of her had failed. Dolly was in despair, and both 
Uncle Harry and Aunt Anna had given up all 
hope of ever seeing her again, although keeping 
up a show of hopefulness for Dolly's sake. 

It was on the afternoon of the seventh day, and 
Ned was sitting in the barn door, thoughtfully 

" I don't see/' Uncle Harry had remarked that 
day at the dinner-table — " I don't see how the fel- 
low ever got off with her without anybody seeing 

Had he got away with her? was the question 
Ned was now asking himself. Was it not possible 
that both he and Skatta were hidden somewhere 
not far away? Certainly it would not be a diffi- 
cult thing to do, to keep himself and Skatta in 
hiding till such time as the search for her should 
be over. So Ned whittled and revolved these 
questions in his mind. 

" That's it, I'll bet!" he shouted out at last, 
bringing his hand down upon his knee with a re- 


sounding slap that made old Bill jump. . The next 
minute he was on his feet, and thrusting; his jack- 
knife into his trousers-pocket, he struck a bee-line 
across the old muster-field for the Little Madam's 
cottage. He came out into the winding lane just 
before reaching it. 

What an atmosphere of peace seemed to brood 
over the little domain, lying so securely within its 
encircling pastures ! The sun lay warm within 
the narrow yard. Close by the door-stone blos- 
somed a pale -yellow chrysanthemum; but the 
crimson leaves of the woodbine had fallen, save 
one at the summit of the chimney, that fluttered 
in the warm south wind like the " one red leaf " in 

" Christabel "— 

" The last of its clan. 
That dances as often as dance it can, 
Hanging so light and hanging so high 
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky" 

Ned peeped in at a window. Some one had evi- 
dently been there since the room had been put in 
order under Thankf ul's careful supervision. ,. A fire 
had been kindled on the hearth, and the ashes and 
brands had encroached upon the white scoured 
floor. A litter of straw in one corner showed 
where some one had slept. Ned tried the door: 
it was unfastened and he went in. Some of the 
boards of the floor had been lifted, and one was 
still out of place. Ned recalled the gossip about 
the Little Madam's hidden treasure. But there 



was no sign of fire among the ashes on the hearth, 
and the bricks were cold. Evidently no one was 
making use of the cottage then. 

He went out and stood a few moments on the 
door-stone. He took out his knife and stooped to 
cut off the yellow chrysanthemum blossoms. 

" She will like them," he was thinking, remem- 
bering the Little Madam's love of flowers. But 
he drew back his knife. " No, I'll look for them," 
was his determination. " I'll wait till I come back." 
And then, with a deliberation and slowness that 
contrasted oddly with the headlong haste of his 
passage from the tavern to the cottage, he climbed 
over the fence into the pasture and made for the 

Following him, you would have noticed how he 
avoided every bit of open ground and kept close 
to the woods, choosing those of pine and hemlock 
rather than of the deciduous trees that, now the 
leaves had fallen, afforded less shelter from ob- 
servation. He chose, too, the woods where the 
underbrush was thick ; and as he went on, he ex- 
amined cautiously and carefully every thicket, ex- 
plored every hollow, stopping frequently to listen. 

With these woods on Hemlock Island he was fa- 
miliar. He had tracked them through and through 
many times when in pursuit of stray cattle or 
sheep. He had set traps in them, too. But that 
day he barely noticed the scolding squirrels that 
leaped from branch to branch over his head, nor 


the rabbits that scurried across his path. Even 
the flight of a bevy of partridges failed to stir the 
hunter's heart in his bosom. He was in quest of 
quite another sort of game. 

After about an hour of this cautious progress he 
came to the opening where the coal-pits were. He 
recalled the day Dolly rode down there so gayly 
on Skatta, with Gaston by her side. He paused 
and reconnoitred before venturing out into the 
open space. The cabins were still there, but the 
pits had been coaled long since and the coal cart- 
ed off. Nothing remained to tell of that busy 
scene but the big black circles in the turf, which 
was still green as in spring with the late mild rains 
and the wash from the coal-pit bottoms. 

The grass showed no sign of recent foot-falls, so 
Ned ventured forth and peeped into each solitary, 
empty cabin. There was the straw and the old 
quilts, the pieces of battered tin-ware and stumps 
of pipes, just as they had been left when the last 
load of coal was carted off. How still it was ! Not 
a leaf stirred, not a solitary bird rustled among the 
branches. The utter silence of the place was op- 
pressive ; earth and sky seemed to listen. 

Presently the cry of a flock of geese was heard. 
They were flying low, and wearily seeking a place 
to rest. As they neared Wintuxet Lake, a shot 
cut clear and sharp through the air and two fell 
swiftly, while the V-shaped line broke in dis- 


" Sportsmen, ,, thought Ned. "He wouldn't dare 
to be firing guns." 

As he turned away with a feeling of keen disap- 
pointment from the empty cabins, he thought of 
another place, still more secluded, where it was 
possible that Skatta and the thief might be hidden. 
This possible hiding-place was a good mile farther 
on, and away from home. The sun had already 
sunk low in the west, for these were the year's 
shortest days. 

But Ned pushed resolutely on, for somehow, 
with every fresh disappointment he felt more and 
more certain that he was on the right track. He 
made his way through the thick underbrush and 
over the swampy tracts cautiously, as before. He 
crossed a tremulous piece of turf, about half an 
acre in extent, known as " the tilting ground." It 
bent under even his light weight at every step, 
and tradition said that under that springing turf 
was a bottomless pit of liquid mud, and that any 
one by chance breaking through would go on sink- 
ing till he came out, say, at Hong-Kong, China, 
or some other place at the antipodes. 

But Ned did not mind the springing turf; he 
had never r,eally believed the fabulous story, though 
he had told it to Dolly, and they had speculated 
together over the probable fate of any human being 
who might happen to break through. He had 
promised to show it to her some day. 

Just as the sun had dropped below the horizon, 


sending up a flight of golden arrows to the zenith 
byway of a farewell to the eastern world, Ned reach- 
ed his destination. This was also an old coaling 
ground, though it had been years since any pits 
had been coaled there. The only time Ned re- 
membered ever being at this exact place was about 
a year previous, when he went through this tract 
of woods with his father, in search of a pine fit 
for a ship's mast. At that time the coal-cabins 
were in a ruinous state; but on this day, as Ned 
parted the branches of a young pine and peeped 
out into the open space, his eye fell upon two com- 
fortable cabins. The fallen slabs had been picked 
up and carefully nailed in place — there were the 
brown stripes in the turf where they had lain — 
and each cabin was thatched with branches of hem- 
lock and white pine. 

" Treed at last !" ejaculated Ned, under his 
breath, and this was all the outward expression 
of joy he allowed himself, though he could have 
danced a jig in sheer delight. He drew quietly 
back into the depths of the young pine, and re- 

The situation was indeed a serious one. It was 
already sunset, as I have said, and were he to go 
home at once and carry the news of his discovery, 
the probability was that his father would think it 
unwise to attempt Skatta's rescue and the arrest 
of the thief before morning — and what might not 
happen between that time and morning? Before 


sunrise they might both be far away. No ! such 
risk as that was not to be thought of for a moment. 
He, acting alone, could not secure both, of course ; 
but if he could only get Skatta, take her that night 
to her young mistress safe and sound — ah! he 
could see Dolly's shining eyes even through the 
gathering mists of the twilight as he thought of it. 
That was worth running a little risk for. 

But how was he to do it ? How was he, a mere 
boy, to carry her off with safety both to her and 
himself, from this daring, reckless man ? He must 
plan with wisdom, and act with discretion and 
promptness. There must be the least possible risk 
of detection in the act. For Ned felt, and rightly 
too, that the fellow would not hesitate to fire at 
him, to kill him even, as he had done Gaston, if 
he thought the so doing were necessary to his own 
safety. Ned had accepted, as we see, without any 
reservation, Dolly's theory as to who the thief was 
— viz., the murderer of Gaston. 

While he was casting about in his mind for a 
plan of rescue, a man stepped out into the open- 
ing from the woods on the opposite side. Ned 
recognized him at once. It was the man with the 
evil eye, whom they saw that day by the blazing 
pit, the man whom Dolly said had killed Gaston, 
one of the meeting-house thieves. He held a gun 
in one hand, and from the other hung a couple of 
dead geese. His was the shot, after all, that Ned 
had heard. He entered one of the cabins, and 


presently smoke was seen coming out of the hole 
in the top. 

" He's getting supper," reflected Ned. "Wish 
I had some ! Going to roast one of those geese, 
I'll bet !" and Ned's mouth fairly watered at the 
thought. u Oh, dear ! how hungry I am ! Wish 
I'd thought to take a couple o' dough-nuts." 

Ned's conjecture was right. The man was go- 
ing to have goose for supper ; for, leaving his fire 
to get well under way, he came out and proceeded 
to pick and clean one of the geese. A cloud of 
downy feathers hid him from view as he worked. 

" What 'd Thankful say to such a waste o' feath- 
ers," commented Ned, as he watched the man 
with an interest that made him almost forget his 
own perilous situation. " Oh, what a fool! He 
don't know anything! he's no sportsman!" as he 
saw the way in which he mangled the plump, fat 

The process of dressing, or undressing — for why 
should we call the pulling off of all a bird's feath- 
ers " dressing it ?" — was soon ended, and the man 
again vanished into the cabin. As he disappeared, 
Ned felt as though he would risk almost anything 
just for one peep, in order to see how he would 
cook the goose. " I should hang it before the fire 
with a string fastened to the top of the cabin," 
he decided in his own mind ; for Ned was a born 
sportsman, and fertile in invention, as indeed most 
bright boys are, for that matter. 


Presently the man, having arranged his goose 
to his satisfaction, came out and crossed over to 
the other cabin. A moment or two passed, and 
he reappeared, leading Skatta — for it was Skatta, 
though so covered with dust, so frowzy, with wisps 
of dry grass clinging to coat and mane and tail, as 
to look little like the sleek, glossy creature her 
mistress was wont to groom daily with such lov- 
ing care. 

She had apparently been well fed, however, for 
she pranced about gayly and seemed in the best 
of spirits, though she shied suggestively when the 
man raised his hand or came very near her. 

" The brute's been abusing her, ,, thought Ned, 
and his blood boiled at the thought. 

The man led her to a spring at the edge of the 
woods, not far from the spot where Ned lay in a 
tangle of ferns, laurel, and white pine. At first 
she refused to drink, and held her head high, 
seemingly searching the woods with her soft, spir- 
ited eyes. The man swore at her and kicked her, 
and then she began to plunge and rear, but she 
subdued herself quickly, as though knowing it was 
of no use to rebel. Then she bowed her head and 
drank long and deeply, and as they were return- 
ing from the spring, again her soft, spirited eyes 
seemed to question the shadowy woods. Was 
she conscious that a friend was hidden there? 

She was led back to the cabin, and then Ned 


waited and waited while the man ate his dinner 
and smoked his pipe. He could catch glimpses 
of him through the chinks in the cabin as he 
moved about in the firelight, and a delicious and 
tantalizing odor of broiling goose was wafted upon 
the night air to the nostrils of the hungry boy. 

Ned had drawn up his plan ; it was a simple 
one, viz., to wait till the man was sound asleep, 
and then make off with Skatta. It was tedious 
waiting, and he sometimes felt cramped, but he 
dared not move lest a rustle among the bushes 
— for the night was breathlessly still — might be- 
tray him. Once or twice he came near falling 
asleep, but he pinched himself awake. 

The man occasionally came to the door and 
looked out, leaning up against the side of the 
cabin, and smoking in a contemplative manner. 
At such times Ned hoped he wasn't thinking 
about leaving that night ; if he did, what was he 
(Ned) to do ? To see Skatta carried off from right 
under his nose, as it were, he felt would be more 
than he could endure. 

At last, however, after what seemed an inter- 
minable time, the fire in the cabin died down and 
all was still. Ned waited a good while even after 
that, curbing his impatience with the thought that 
if he should make a movement one moment too 
soon all would be lost. The time seemed to 
lengthen into a week, as he said afterwards, and 
how he did wish he knew exactly what time it 


was ! And what were they thinking at home when 
he failed to appear at supper -time? Well, he 
guessed he should surprise 'em when he did come. 

At length he ventured out from his covert into 
the opening. It was a clear, starlight night ; the 
moon had not yet risen. Ned looked up. How 
thoroughly comfortable and comforting was the 
sight of those familiar constellations, the " Little 
Dipper," the " Big Dipper," and Orion's dazzling 
belt ! He had to pass close by the cabin wherein 
the man lay asleep. He stopped an instant and 
listened. He heard his heavy breathing, but even 
while he listened he turned restlessly in his sleep 
and groaned. 

Ned slipped, silently and swiftly as a ghost 
glides, over the space which separated the two 
cabins and entered Skatta's. 

" Skatta !" he whispered, warningly. He was in 
mortal terror lest she should whinny when she 
recognized him. Not she ! She had not yet lain 
down, and she turned her head as he came up to 
her, and rubbed her nose over his head, his shoul- 
ders, anywhere where she could reach him. 

He groped for her saddle and bridle. He could 
ride Skatta bare-back, with only her halter to guide 
her, if necessary, but he had no mind to do that. 
He would take her back to Dolly " all saddled and 
bridled " as she first came, if he took her at all. 

Skatta stepped carefully to his leading, slipped 
her head promptly into the bridle, and would 


doubtless have assisted with right good -will in 
buckling the saddle-girths if she could, for well 
she knew that the hour of her deliverance had 

He then led her out, and mounted at once, to be 
ready for any emergency. He walked her slowly 
over the open space towards a wood's road which 
led into the country road, slowly and silently as 
possible, and it was only just as they reached that 
road that the thief, awaking, saw his prey escap- 
ing. He sent a pistol-shot after them, but it was 
too late. 

" Now, Skatta," said Ned, " as fast as you please !" 
and the little creature, fresh from her week's rest, 
and turned towards home, literally flew over the 
ground. Part of the way, the last part, they took 
to the fields, the tireless Skatta leaping fences and 
ditches at full speed, doing herself, in her small 
way, as much credit as did Browning's famous 
Roland himself when he brought the good news 
from Ghent to Aix. 

The moon was rising over the eastern pines as 
they passed the Little Madam's cottage, and as 
they dashed by, Ned gave a sort of a view- halloo 
as a vent to his so long pent-up feelings, and the 
man-in-the-moon seemed to beam upon him with 
more than his usual benignity. He did not stop 
for the yellow chrysanthemum blossoms. Oh no ! 
they could wait. Seen in the white moonlight, they 
clustered like stars around the big flat door-stone. 


A brief time and they had crossed the old mus- 
ter-field, leaped the meeting-house fence, and were 
in the tavern door-yard, Skatta panting and with 
reeking sides, but whinnying most joyously as she 
caught sight of the waiting group there. For the 
whole family force was out — Aunt Anna and Un- 
cle Harry, Cousin Kitty and the Little Madam, 
together with Thankful and Betty and 'Zekle and 
Skipper Joe, who had arrived that day — all shout- 
ing out a welcome and filled with wonder. 

And there, too, was Dolly, flying up from her 
station by the guide-post, where she had been list- 
ening to the sound of the coming hoofs, which 
she had at once recognized as Skatta's, and upon 
whose neck she instantly fell in a mingled trans- 
port of tears and laughter. And just then the 
meeting-house clock struck nine. 

There had been much anxiety at the tavern 
when supper -time failed to bring Ned. He had 
done such a thing once or twice in his life as to go 
off in company with other boys, fishing or trap- 
ping, without saying anything about it. And this 
time, perhaps, he had gone down to the lake for a 
shot at the geese and ducks, which were now on 
their passage south. So said Uncle Harry, and so 
they all tried to think ; and they engaged in their 
usual evening occupations, or pretended to do so. 

But Dolly had not been content to sit down and 
wait. Every few minutes she made a raid out into 
the road, and looked up and down for the missing 


Ned ; and at last she was rewarded by the sound 
of Skatta's swift -coming hoofs, and her joyous 
shout had brought out the whole family, as we 
have seen. 

Skatta, after being duly patted and petted, was 
led off by 'Zekle, accompanied by Dolly — not to 
her old stall in the cow-barn, but to a more secure 
place in the stable ; and Ned was taken in to sup- 
per, which Thankful, always practical, had kept hot 
and comfortable for him on the kitchen hearth. 

He refused to open his mouth, however, about 
the rescue of Skatta, until Dolly, having seen her 
rubbed down, fed, and bedded, came in, and then 
he told them all about it. 

And the next morning he and Dolly, once more 
in happy companionship on old Bill and Skatta, 
rode down and gathered the pale yellow chrysan- 
themums for the Little Madam. 



" It's just like another convention," said Dolly. 

" 'Tis," was Ned's reply. " It's mother's conven- 
tion ; the tag-rag-'n-bobtail convention." 

" Gh, what a shame to call it that !" remonstrat- 
ed Dolly. 

" 'Tis," persisted Ned. "You just wait an' see! 
There'll be an awful spread, an' everybody that 
hasn't got anywhere else t' go will be invited to 
come here to dinner. An' 'f that isn't a tag-rag- 
'n-bobtail thing, I'd like to know what is !" and 
he conveyed a plump raisin to his mouth, into 
which receptacle had disappeared so many during 
the operation of stoning that Thankful felt called 
upon to remonstrate. 

" 'F y' eat many more o' them plums, th' puddin's 
'11 fall short." 

^Oh, I'll risk that !" said Ned, and well he might ; 
for Thankful, never submitting at any time to b'e 
" skinched," demanded such a supply of raisins for 
her Thanksgiving puddings and pies that it was 
difficult to crowd them all in; and. looking at his 
I operations from that stand-point, Ned might have 


been considered as a happy provision whereby to 
make way with the surplus. 

He and Dolly were stoning the raisins, of which 
the monkey — still unclaimed by the menadgerl — 
had managed to grab a handful by swinging dex- 
terously down from his perch on top of the eight- 
day clock in the corner. 

What a cosey, spice -laden, cheery interior was 
that kitchen on this evening of which I am writing ! 
With the advent of cold weather the cook-stove 
had been removed permanently to the outer kitch- 
en, while a roaring wood-fire burned nineteen hours 
out of the twenty-four in the huge fireplace in the 
inner kitchen. The remaining six hours the fire 
was raked up, dispensing a luxurious warmth even 
in its ashes. 

On this evening 'Zekle, with Skipper Joe to 
" spell " him, was chopping raw beef and pork for 
sausages, which beef and pork required great 
strength of muscle to reduce to the fineness re- 
quired by Thankful, who was as intolerant of a 
" chunk " of beef in her sausages as she was of a 
raisin-stone in her puddings. 

, TJie Little Madam was busy pounding and sift- 
ing spices, sticks of cinnamon, beads of allspice, 
and whole cloves ; no adulteration in those spices ! 
It was dainty, fragrant work, just suited to her, and 
done so neatly that not a trace of it powdered the 
white of her homespun woollen gown. 

Cousin Kitty, leaving Aunt Anna to read her 


favorite " Goldsmith, " had deserted the sitting- 
room for the kitchen, and insisted upon having a 
share in the preparations for Thanksgiving. To 
her Thankful consigned the bunches of summer 
savory, sage, and thyme, to be carefully dried by 
the fire, and then powdered into shallow pans. 

Betty, having reduced to a fine dust the meat 
for the one hundred mince-pies, was now engaged 
in chopping the apples, while Thankful went from 
one to another inspecting, suggesting, scolding, 
flying every now and then into the outer kitchen 
to stir vigorously two huge pots of pumpkin stew- 
ing over a moderate fire, stirring up at the same 
time the cow-boy, who had been stationed there 
to watch the fire, lest, burning too freely, the 
pumpkin should scorch, and who, between this re- 
sponsibility and an overpowering inclination to fall 
asleep, was well-nigh distracted. 

Upon this cheerful scene a traveller entered. 
The main entrance to the tavern was not through 
the kitchen, but two classes of travellers often 
came in that way — its old frequenters and stran- 
gers. The former knew well its comforts, and the 
latter were drawn thither by the light which 
streamed out so hospitably from above the short 
curtains which covered the lower half of the win- 
dows only. 

But this traveller was no stranger. To all but 
Cousin Kitty his face was familiar. It was Har- 
rington, the famous wizard. A pleasant stir greet- 


ed his entrance. The monkey, after a careful sur- 
vey of the new-comer, came down from his perch 
and cordially offered his paw. 

" Ah, who have we here ?" said the wizard. And 
then a strange wild cry was heard, which seemed 
to come from some mysterious and far-away re- 
gion, and the monkey slunk back, trembling with 
fright. It w r as the savage cry of a bird of prey, a 
cry which the monkey had often heard in South 
American forests. 

The wizard laughed, " It's too bad to frighten 
the creature/' he said, offering him a bit of barley 
candy by way of a peace-offering. 

Having laid aside his riding-coat, he took his 
stand on the hearth with his back to the fire and 
looked smilingly around. 

" Going t' have snow?" he asked, looking at 

" Guess so," was the reply. " Geese 'r goin' over 
putty thick." 

Presently, with the air of one quite at home, he 
moved across the kitchen, and stooping over Bet- 
ty, who was chopping somewhat at random with 
her wide-open eyes fixed upon the wizard, he took 
an egg from out the apple in her tray. 

" Well, Betty," he said, laughing, " is this where 
your hens lay ?" And Betty stared in open-mouth- 
ed wonder. 

" How 'd that come there an' I a-choppin', I sh'd 
like to know !" 



Pretty soon a queer state of things prevailed in 
the kitchen. 'Zekle's chopping-knife disappeared 
while in the act of chopping, and after an ineffect- 
ual search, it was found in the tray under his very 

Dolly, dipping her hand into the deep stone jar 
for the last handful of raisins, withdrew it with a 
shriek, and out popped a tiny squirrel, which scam- 
pered up one of the wizard's coat-sleeves. 

" Up t' y'r old tricks ag'in, Mister Harrington," 
Said Skipper Joe, pulling his red silk pocket-hand- 
kerchief out of the pocket of his sailor jacket. A 
score of silver dollars followed the handkerchief 
and rolled over the floor. 

" Had a successful summer, eh, skipper?" asked 
the wizard. " It isn't everybody that's got the 
dollars to carry about in that way." 

" None o' mine," growled Skipper Joe, picking 
up one. "Lead, by thunder! Now just turn 
them into silver, Mr. Harrington, an* your tricks 'd 
be worth somethin'." 

" Lead !" retorted Harrington, taking the dollar 
from Skipper Joe's hand, and ringing it upon the 
table. The clear, silvery sound proved the purity 
of the metal. " D'y' call that lead ?" 

" Wa'al, wa'al, reelly, now, 't's no use t' try tricks 
with you, Mr. Harrington," said Skipper Joe, re- 
signedly. " Y' c'n make lead silver, an' silver lead." 

The wizard looked smilingly at Dolly, who had 
been following his tricks with the deepest interest. 


Just beside the cushioned settle where she and 
Ned were seated stood a light-stand, with a candle 
and snuffer-tray upon it. The candle had burned 
down, leaving a long wick, and Dolly took up the 
snuffers to snuff it. As she opened them, out 
dropped a fragrant red rose of the kind known as 
the monthly rose. She picked it up. 

" Oh, Mr. Harrington, how lovely ! I wish I 
could turn candle snuff into red roses ! Is it 

" With all my heart," replied the wizard. " The 
rose -queen must have sent it to match your 

" Perhaps she has some more for you," he add- 
ed, mysteriously. 

Dolly again tried to snuff the candle, and this 
time out flew from the open snuffers a canary, 
which, alighting on her hand, burst into song. 

" Well, who ever see the beat o' that !" ejacu- 
lated Thankful. " How d y' c'ntrive t' carry all 
them live creeturs about y' t f onct, Mister Har- 
rington ?" 

" Easy enough if you only know how T ," was the 
reply; and Thankful was that instant confronted 
by a snow-white rabbit, which raised itself on its 
haunches upon the table and piped out, " Easy 
enough if you only know how." 

" Massy sakes alive !" said Thankful, looking 
aghast at the uncanny creature as it sat motionless, 
with the exception of its long white ears, which 


moved slowly back and forth. " Dew stop, Mis- 
ter Harrington. 'Taint right — no, 'taint right — t' 
make dumb creeturs speak." 

The rabbit chuckled, " Dumb critters can't speak. 
If they speak they aint dumb critters, and if they're 
dumb critters they can't speak." And having de- 
livered himself of this bit of wisdom he disappear- 
ed as mysteriously as he had come. 

Harrington laughed. "And now," he said, " I 
think I'll go and pay my respects to Mrs. Park." 
And he went out with the canary circling about 
his head, the monkey calling out just as the door 
closed, " Good-by ! good riddance !" At least it 
seemed to be the monkey, although he looked 
as surprised as the rest at hearing a voice appar- 
ently issuing from his stomach. 

" Wa'al, he's a master feller f'r a joke," said 'Ze- 
kle, as the door closed upon him, " an' it's dum 
queer how he does them things!" 

" I' my way o' thinkin' them things 'd better be 
let alone," remarked Thankful, who had not quite 
recovered from her rabbit scare. 

" Oh, pshaw ! don't dew any harm, them things 
don't," said Skipper Joe, good-naturedly. "'F he 
rode on a broomstick now like a witch ! They 
dew say old Granny Cary us't t' go t' Bermuda an' 
back 'n a night after rosemary to cure folks o' rheu- 
matiz. Benev'lent old crittur, 'f she was a witch. 
But Harrington, now — Lor, Thankful, it's only 
jes' fun." But Thankful continued to shake her 


head ; she could not quite forgive Harrington for 
giving her such a start. 

The day before Thanksgiving was a busy one 
for Ned and Dolly. Chickens, turkeys, puddings, 
pies, spare -ribs, sirloins, and assorted vegetables 
were to be delivered to Aunt Anna's numerous 
proteges : to the three old aunties, to bedridden 
Matty, to the McLouds, to the tailoress Phoebe, 
to crippled Susy Stone and her mother, and to 
Lute Atkins, a friendless drunkard, who lived alone 
in a half or wholly savage way. 

It is always pleasant to be the bearer of gifts — 
doubly so, perhaps, when the gifts supply some 
real want — and Ned and Dolly had a happy time. 
The three old aunties were grateful, though not 
effusively so, for the thoughtful kindness that for 
so many years had helped them to make both ends 
meet out of a scanty income. 

Poor Mrs. McLoud, with six hungry mouths to 
fill and only one small chicken for her Thanksgiv- 
ing dinner, came very near crying for joy when 
Ned laid a plump, fat turkey on her kitchen table, 
with his mother's " compliments and kind wishes ;" 
and as to the six children, they joined hands and 
circled around it in a sort of sacrificial dance, which 
Dolly, catching glimpses of through the window, 
thought very charming indeed. 

Dolly did not go in at the several houses ; she 
felt a little delicacy about witnessing the bestowal 
of these gifts. As they drew up by the gate of 


Phoebe, the tailoress, she herself came to the door. 
Phoebe lived in a corner of Deacon Hart's house, 
in a state of happy independence, having " bought 
into " said house with her savings. " She wa'n't 
beholden t' nobody f'r a livinV , and no one except 
Mrs. Park ever ventured to offer her a gift. She 
prided herself on payin' her own way ; and at the 
very moment that old Bill stopped at her gate she 
was busy in stuffing a five-pound turkey, which she 
had bought from the butcher's cart for her Thanks- 
giving dinner. But she had once been heard to say 
that Thankful was a " beater " for plum-puddings, 
and she couldn't come " nigh her." So for sever- 
al years Mrs. Park had ventured to send her at 
Thanksgiving a small, round, crumbly, rich plum- 
pudding. Phoebe always graciously accepted it, 
and was " obleeged to Mis' Park," but some gift 
in return invariably found its way to the tavern, 
to take off the edge of the obligation as it were. 
Sometimes it was a basket of apples from her fa- 
mous golden-sweet ; sometimes it was a pound of \ 
equally golden butter from Whitefoot's cream. 
On that day it was a loaf of " riz " cake, made from 
the famous Waterman recipe, that had been in the 
family two hundred years — ever since the emigra- 
tion of the family from England, in fact. It had 
been handed down from mother to daughter, and 
had been considered a strictly family inheritance, 
not to be imparted to any outsider. She handed 
the loaf up to Dolly, wrapped in a snow-white nap- 


kin of home-made linen, with P. W. in cross-stitch 
in one corner. 

" I think, Dolly, you had better go in and see 
Matty ; she used to know your mother/' This 
was what Aunt Anna had said as they drove away 
from the tavern that morning. So Dolly went in 
to see Matty, rather sorry on the whole that she 
must, for, she reflected, an old woman, bedridden 
for so many years, could not be a very nice person 
to visit. 

They knocked at the door, and a cheerful voice 
saying " Come in," they entered. 

" Dear, dear me ! is that Matty ?" thought Dolly, 
coming very near, in her surprise saying it out 

A woman was lying on the bed in a corner of 
the room, propped up by pillows. A small face 
was on the pillow, pallid, it is true, and encircled 
with snow-white hair, but luminous with a pair 
of laughing eyes that made Dolly's face fairly dim- 
ple as her own glance met them. 

"Come here, my dear," she said, cordially, hold- 
ing out a thin, white hand. " I know you ; you 
are Helen Heath's daughter ; I should know you 
anywhere. And I know what has brought you, 
Master Ned. And how you grow ! Come and 
stand up here, and let me see how much you have 
grown since last year. Just look here !" and she 
pointed out to Dolly a row of pencil marks on the 
door-casing beside her bed. " I always make Ma- 


hala scour round those when she cleans. That," 
pointing to the lowest one, " was his height when 
he brought me his first Thanksgiving turkey. He 
came tugging it in, in his short arms, with his moth- 
er behind, and how we laughed to see him I" and 
she laughed a low, happy laugh at the remem- 
brance. " And he's brought me one every Thanks- 
giving since." 

" Here's something else I thought you'd like, 
Matty," said Ned, bringing out, rather shamefaced- 
ly, a plump partridge, which he had trapped and 
dressed the day before, though, boy-like, he had 
kept his gift out of sight, and this was the first 
glimpse Dolly had had of it. 

" Oh, thank you ! and you left the pretty tail- 
feathers on for me to see, didn't you ? And how 
do the woods look now ? Are the box-berries thick ? 
and is Wild-cat Brook as full as common ? I used 
to love that brook when I was a girl ; and some- 
times in the night I think I hear it dashing over 
its stones. And does the little gray owl still keep 
house in the old apple-tree by the lane ? I like to 
think of him there cold nights, warm and cosey, 
only I wish he wouldn't eat orioles and bluebirds. 
I don't begrudge him his mice. But just hear me ! 
he's as much right to his oriole as I have to my 
partridge," and she laughed a laugh so heartily 
happy, so in contrast with her pale face and appar- 
ent helplessness, that Dolly, forgetting her good 
manners, stared in bewildered astonishment. 


But such good spirits are infectious, and both 
Dolly and Ned were soon laughing heartily over 
her account of Mahala's mishap of that morning, 
whose pet lamb had butted her over as she was 
bringing in Matty's breakfast. Matty lost her 
breakfast, of course, or as good as lost it, for there 
wasn't another egg in the house, but she said the 
fun made up for that. And if she hadn't lost her 
breakfast, most likely she would have had no ap- 
petite for dinner, and now she could have broiled 
partridge, and that would be " nice." 

And then they said "good-by" and hurried off 
to deliver the rest of their gifts. 

" Is she really so sick?" asked Dolly, as they 
drove along. " And how can she be so merry?" 

" I don't know, I'm sure," replied Ned. *" She's 
always just so when I see her. But mother says 
she has awful pain." 

Ah, if they could only have looked in upon her 
at that very moment. For the sound of their de- 
parting wheels had hardly died away when a spasm 
of fierce pain contracted the delicate features, and 
a look of anguish came into the laughing eyes. 
None but the faithful Mahala ever quite knew how 
much Matty suffered. For, years before, when her 
happy girlhood went out in life-long anguish, she 
had resolved that " whatever I may have to en- 
dure, my sufferings shall never darken the lives of 

What a dismal place was that where Lute At- 


kins lived ! All the traditional shabbiness and de- 
cay of the drunkard's home were there — if " home " 
it could be called — broken windows, hingeless 
doors, and falling fences. Ned knocked, but no 
cheerful voice said " come in." He opened the 
door, pushed in the basket, and shut the door 

" He's there," he said to Dolly as he jumped 
into the buggy and caught up the reins. He 
shuddered with disgust. " It's dreadful to think 
that a boy can ever turn into a man like that !" he 
said. " An' mother says she remembers him when 
he was a nice, jolly boy. Well, I've signed the 
pledge, Dolly, an' I'm glad I have, an' I mean to 
keep it too. I b'long to a teetotal society. Oh, 
did I ever tell you about Johnny Tuttle when he 
was sick? He's a teetotaler too." 

" No." 

" Well, he was awful sick, an' he was going to die ; 
that's what Dr. Stone said, an' that's what every- 
body thought. An' Dr. Stone said they must give 
him brandy every fifteen minutes, p'r'aps that 
would save him, an' p'r'aps 't wouldn't, anyway 
they must try it, an' Johnny said he couldn't take 
it nohow, for he'd signed the pledge, an' he was 
going t' keep it anyway. An' his mother cried an' 
begged him to, and his father begged, and doctor 
said he must, an' he said he wouldn't an' he didn't." 

" And did he die?" asked Dolly, anxiously. 

" No, you bet he didn't ! Such a boy 's that 


don't die easy ! Why he goes t' school now, don't 
y know ? an' he's coming t' the menagerie — going 
t' be the elephant. Deacon Hart said 'f he'd been 
his boy he'd a-turned the brandy down him ; an' 
he said 'twas tempting Providence, but father said 
'twas true grit." 



A GOOD Thanksgiving dinner being assured to 
everybody within the limits of Byfield, the house- 
hold at Park's tavern slept the sleep of the just 
on the night preceding that time-honored festival, 
and assembled in excellent spirits around the 
breakfast - table on Thanksgiving morning. The 
party was strictly a family party, and the principal 
dish was chicken pie, or pies rather, as there were 
two of them, and one was sweetened. Thanksgiv- 
ing would not have been Thanksgiving at the old 
tavern without chicken pie for breakfast. Uncle 
Harry's father had always had chicken pie for 
Thanksgiving breakfast, and his father before him, 
•and I was about to say that his father before him 
had eaten it, too, in Yorkshire, England. Doubt- 
less the latter did eat chicken pie, for the English 
have always been famous for their rich pasties, 
but it could not have been Thanksgiving chicken 
pie, as Thanksgiving, we all know, is a Puritan 
festival, and had its origin in New England. 

The two pies which graced Uncle Harry's break- 
fast-table that morning were baked in deep, wide 


pans, and were so stuffed with chicken that the 
top crusts had taken on a pyramidal form. They 
were brought in steaming hot, with the gravy bub- 
bling out of a hole in the apex of each pyramid, 
and bearing no slight resemblance to a couple of 
small but spunky volcanoes. 

Uncle Harry had just inserted the point of the 
carving-knife into the sweetened pie, and was 
opening his mouth to inquire where Ned was — 
that young gentleman's place at the table being 
empty — when the door flew open and he appeared 
quite out of breath and bursting with news. 

" The McLouds were all burned out last night !" 
he said. 

There was a second's silence, such as usually 
follows the announcement of an unexpected and 
surprising bit of news, and then a volley of ex- 
clamations and interrogations was discharged at 

" When ? how ? at what time ? save anything ? 
all safe?" 

" About two o'clock. Mr. Emerson saw it first 
all of a blaze, an' rushed over an' got' em out in 
their night-clothes, all sound asleep." 

" Children all safe, I hope," said Aunt Anna. 

" Yes, though they like to have forgot the baby. 
Mr. Emerson pulled him out after the bed was 

An exclamation of horror burst from Aunt Anna 
and Cousin Kitty at this announcement. 


" Didn't thpy save anything? — no clothes? noth- 

" Not a rag," was the decisive answer. 

" Dear me, that is hard indeed !" 

Only six weeks before the father of this family 
had died, and his kind-hearted townsmen had been 
much exercised as to how, even with the house 
and bit of land which she owned, Mrs. McLoud 
was going to feed and clothe her young brood of 
ravens, the oldest of which was only ten, and here 
was an added complication. 

" Where are they now ?" asked Mrs. Park. 

"At Aunt Debby's," replied Ned, chuckling. 
" I just saw 'em sitting 'round the breakfast-table, 
an' Aunt Debby an' Aunt Nanny fussing and 
clucking about like a couple of old hens with a 
new lot of chickens." 

" Ned !-" remonstrated his mother, but his father 
only laughed. 

" Well," remarked the latter, " I don't see how 
they ever squeezed them all into that coop of a 

" If Aunt Debby's house were as elastic as her 
heart, there would be no limits to her benevo- 
lence," said Mrs. Park. " But we mustn't let them 
eat her out of house and home. Thankful !" she 
called through the open door, and Thankful ap- 
peared, grim and expectant. " Just fill a couple 
of baskets, will you, and let 'Zekle take them over 
to Aunt Debby's. The McLouds are all there. 


Put in another turkey, and anything else you think 
best. And oh, tell him to tell Aunt Debby I'll 
drive over after dinner and see about them. Per- 
haps we'd better let them go into the Little Mad- 
am's cottage for the present," she said, looking 
inquiringly at Uncle Harry, who was carefully dis- 
secting the sweetened chicken pie. " There's 
plenty of old furniture in the garret we can take 

" Just as you say," answered Uncle Harry, heart- 
ily. He never blocked the course of his wife's be- 
nevolence. He trusted her excellent judgment. 
Once, hearing somebody say that " Mis' Park's 
warm heart would run away with her yet," he had 
made answer, " My wife has a cool head as well as 
a warm heart, and I'll risk her." 

Dolly had said " when " and " how " with the 
rest, and then suddenly lapsed into silence, and, 
with her eyes fastened upon the chicken's breast 
with its wish-bone, to which she had been helped, 
ate rapidly. But somehow the chicken had lost 
its flavor. 

" We had just got them comfortably clothed 
for the winter," Aunt Anna was saying to Cousin 
Kitty, " and now it is all to do over again. Well, 
we must look over our belongings and see, not 
what we can spare, but how little we can get on 
with ourselves, and give them the rest. A woman 
and six children to clothe is no small matter." 

" Oh dear!" thought Dolly, " I wish they would 


talk about something else. They can have that 
old blue merino — I'd just as lief they would as 
not." But she did not say so aloud. She kept 
thinking of " something else." When- Ned said, 
" Not a rag !" she instantly thought of that "some- 
thing else." 

That " something else " was a pile of five-dollar 
gold-pieces in a corner of the small drawer in her 
dressing-table. She rarely went into her room 
without opening that drawer and taking a peep at 
those gold-pieces. They were hidden under a pile 
of handkerchiefs. There were five of them. 

Mamma had sent her that twenty-five dollars to 
do what she pleased with. That was what the 
note that came with the money said — " Do just 
what you like with it, darling. Buy what you 

Dolly had been for some time making up her 
mind as to what she did want. She wanted a 
harp — Cousin Kitty could play the harp ; but 
twenty-five dollars would not buy a harp. She 
had thought of a pair of pink coral bracelets. 
Dolly liked pretty jewellery, but she knew mam- 
ma did not approve of girls wearing it. But at 
last she had come to a decision. 

There was to be a ball at the old tavern on the 
22d of December, a military ball, and Aunt Anna 
had said that Dolly and Ned might sit up until 
twelve, at which time the turkey supper was to 
be served. Now, Dolly had known how to dance 


almost ever since she could remember. She had 
been to the afternoon dancing -school, and once 
to an evening dancing-party that lasted till nine 

But a ball ! The instant she heard about that 
ball she knew what she wanted to do with the five 
five -dollar gold -pieces. She would buy a new 
gown with it — a gown of that lustrous yellow satin 
that looked so much like sunlight. She at once 
took Cousin Kitty into her confidence, and Cousin 
Kitty said she had shown good taste in the choice 
of color. 

" It will just suit your dark hair and eyes/' said 
Cousin Kitty. " And I tell you what I'll do, Dolly. 
I'll write to Cousin Maud, and she'll get it for you. 
And those lovely yellow chrysanthemums of the 
Little Madam's will be just the thing to wear with 
it. She'll let us have them, I know. And you 
shall wear the biggest ones on your hair and skirt, 
and at the girdle, and I'll make a necklace out of 
the tiny ones — there'll be lots of blooms by that 
time, for they are all over buds — and you shall go 
to the ball as ' The Chrysanthemum !' " and as she 
concluded she had seized hold of Dolly, and they 
had chasseed up and down the long hall where they 
had chanced to be, in sheer delight over the idea. 

And such a lovely idea ! Dolly thought ; every 
girl will understand how often she thought it all 
over, and how she imagined over and over again 
how she was going to look as " The Chrysan- 


themum," arrayed in the gown of lustrous satin. 
It is the most natural thing in the world for a girl 
to wish to look pretty — why shouldn't she? So 
we can well imagine what a pang wrung Dolly's 
heart as something seemed to whisper to her, 
when Ned was telling about the burning out of 
the McLouds, " There's that twenty-five dollars! 
Give them that." 

" It is altogether too ridiculous," thought Dolly. 
" There's that old blue merino, they can have that 
and one of my bonnets, and I can spare two pairs 
of stockings." 

" But those are not yours to give," whispered 
the something again. " Those belong to your fa- 
ther and mother." 

" Well, I shouldn't wonder if Cousin Kitty had 
written to Maud to buy the satin, and so it's too 
late, anyhow," replied Dolly, defiantly. And the 
something ceased whispering, and Dolly finished 
her breakfast quite cheerfully. 

Shortly after breakfast, however, to make every- 
thing sure, she asked Cousin Kitty if she had sent j 
for the satin. 

" No, I haven't," said Cousin Kitty. " I meant 
to have sent yesterday, but I certainly will to-mor- 
row. There's plenty of time," she added, observ-K 
ing Dolly's fallen countenance. 

Then the something began its work again, and 
managed to make Dolly so unhappy with its hints 
and suggestions, that, to strengthen herself in her 


resolution not to listen, she went up and took a 
look at the gold-pieces, and then spent half an hour 
in the Little Madam's room, playing with the cock- 
atoo and admiring the opening blossoms of the 
yellow chrysanthemums. The Little Madam was 
already pulling over her scanty wardrobe to see 
what could be spared for the destitute McLouds, 
and showed Dolly the beginning of a pair of white 
woollen socks for the baby. This wasn't, after all, 
an encouraging atmosphere, and she soon betook 
herself to the carriage-house, where Ned was set- 
ting up his menagerie. 

" I'll tell you what 'tis, Dolly," said Ned, confi- 
dentially, " we'll ask five cents admission instead 
of one cent. And see what I've got on my sign ;" 
and he took down a board whereon he had paint- 
ed, in very black ink, 



Admission, Five Cents, 

" That'll fetch 'em, I guess," he said, complacent- 
ly. " The fellows are going t' have a game of ball 
on the Green this afternoon, an' I shouldn't won- 
der if we took five dollars," hammering away at a 
hen-coop which he was converting into a wild- 
beast cage. 

" ' Menagerie ' means a lot of wild beasts, any- 
way," said Dolly, petulantly, and beginning to 
hate the very name of McLoud. 


" So 't does," responded Ned, good-naturedly. 
" But I can't help it now — can't print it over again. 
Took all my ink t' do that." 

" It's only a good specimen of tautology," said 
Cousin Kitty, putting in her head to see what they 
were about. 

" Of what f" asked Ned, with hammer arrested 
in mid-air. 

" Of tautology, Ned. It isn't a wild beast — it's 
rhetoric. Did you ever read the ' Diversions of 

" No, but it sounds good," said Ned. 

" It's grammar," said Cousin Kitty, mischiev- 

" Oh, thunder !" exclaimed Ned, bringing down 
his hammer. He wasn't fond of grammar. 

Cousin Kitty caught sight of the sign. 

" Oh, that's a good idea, Ned," she said. "The 
poor things will need every cent they can get. 
And, Ned, I'll do something. Isn't there a place? 
Oh yes, there's the harness room ; that's nice 
and clean, and has a window just right. I'll have 
something in there. Five cents admission, too. 
It'll be great fun !" 

" What is it ?" asked Ned. 

" Oh, that's my secret — mine and Dotty's," laugh- 
ed Cousin Kitty. " She'll help me, and you'll 
have to pay to come in and find out, Master 

"All right!" answered Ned, cheerfully. 


" And you must print me a sign to put over the 
harness-room door." 

" Can't," was the laconic reply — " used up all 
my ink." 

"Take a piece of coal," said Cousin Kitty, "and 
print in large letters, 



" Five Cents, and a Promise not to Tell what you See? 

" Oho ! that's your game, is it ?" said Ned. 

" Why, of course. If those who went in first told, 
the rest wouldn't want to go in. And I shouldn't 
wonder if, between us, Ned, we got enough to 
clothe the baby, and the fun thrown in." 

Then Cousin Kitty carried off Dolly to the Lit- 
tle Madam's room, where, with much frolic and 
laughter, Cousin Kitty explained her plan, and to- 
gether they made out the programme, and got to- 
gether their specimens of the fine arts. 

The dinner-bell rang just as they had completed 
their preparations. So busy had Dolly been all 
the morning, that the troublesome something had 
not had a chance to get in even one w r hisper. But 
beginning to plume herself a little upon her fore- 
noon's work for the benefit of the McLouds, it im- 
mediately whispered, " Well, what of that ? What 
sacrifice have you made ? you've had a good time." 
And Dolly, out of sorts again, passed into the din- 


Here were assembled what Ned had saucily- 
called the " tag-rag-'n-bobtail c'nvention," and a 
very respectable convention it was as to size and 
quality. One of its members was Mr. Emerson, 
who was accompanied by his mother. Dolly had 
never before seen the latter, an eccentric little 
woman, who never went away from home except 
to the annual Thanksgiving dinner at the tavern. 
She wore a canary-colored silk petticoat, with a 
kind of blue short gown of the fashion of her girl- 
hood, a blue shawl of another shade over her 
shoulders, and a pink necktie. She carried a large 
yellow bag, embroidered with purple flowers, and 
her Marie Stuart cap of white lace was surmounted 
by a huge red bow. The dear old lady looked so 
deliciously absurd that Dolly, meeting Ned's laugh- 
ing eyes, could hardly keep from laughing out- 

" She's wore that same rig every year since I 
can remember/' whispered Ned. " Isn't she a 
guy ? and arn't she and Piggy a funny pair ?" 

Mr. Emerson was a devoted son to his queer lit- 
tle mother, who was " no fool," the Byfieldites 
said, but a remarkably shrewd, observant woman. 

After the preliminaries — the carving, and help- 
ing each one of the numerous guests — the talk 
naturally clustered about the McLouds and their 
misfortune, and Dolly again suffered tortures as I 
that impertinent and persistent something began j 
its suggestive whispers. It was decided that the i 


Little Madam's cottage should be at once put in 
order for the homeless family. The furniture 
would be forthcoming from the tavern attic. 

" But there's bedding — beds and sheets and pil- 
low-cases and blankets and quilts," said Mrs. Park. 
"A body does not realize how much it takes to 
keep a family like that going till you come to fit 
it out with everything." 

" I can spare a few sheets and pillow-beers, I 
think," said Mrs. Emerson, " although 'tisn't a ques- 
tion so much of what we can spare, I think, as 'tis 
of what we can get along without ourselves. I 
never did believe in giving away only what you 
don't want yourself — getting rid of things and pre- 
tending it's charity." 

" I don't, nuther," put in Thankful, who was 
changing plates and looking after the wants of the 
Tuttle children, who, their mother being down 
with a fever, had been invited to eat their Thanks- 
giving dinner at the tavern. " My old mother 
used t' say, l Give till y' feel it, then what y' give 
's wuth somethin'.' " 

The red bow on the top of the Marie Stuart 
cap nodded approvingly, and Dolly began to admit 
that it was within the bounds of possibility that 
she might give that twenty-five dollars, and give 
up the lustrous yellow satin. She sighed so deep- 
ly over her turkey at the thought, that Cousin 
Kitty, hearing her, whispered, " What's the matter, 
Dolly ?" 


" Oh, nothing !" replied Dolly, trying to smile, 
and succeeding only in producing a very watery 
smile, which Cousin Kitty attributed to the abun- 
dance of pepper on the turnip. 

"Oh dear! ,, thought poor Dolly, "this is a 
dreadful funny world to live in, where, if you want 
to be good and happy, you've got to give up the 
very things you want." 

"And there's shoes and such things," Mrs. 
Emerson was saying. " You've got to have money 
to get those things, and money's skerce with us." 

" That is true," replied Mrs. Park. " When it 
comes to provisions, vegetables, and meat, we can 
most of us give something; and Mr. Trask (the 
keeper of the Byfield " store ") no doubt will do 
his share. But, as you say, we've got to have mon- 
ey for many things." 

"And just think," suggested that meddlesome 
something, "how much twenty-five dollars would 
buy. Wouldn't it be such a nice thing to do — to 
fit out that chubby little Archie McLoud with 
everything he needs?" 

" He is a cunning little fellow," acknowledged 
Dolly ; " but how can I give up being i The Chrys- 
anthemum?' " 

And so the war waged in Dolly's soul between 
her good and bad angel — between selfishness and 
the love which never faileth. And when, the pud- 
dings and pies having been brought in, Ned called 
her attention to his plate, on which were six sec- 


tions of pie, viz., custard, mince, pumpkin, cran- 
berry, apple, and dried huckleberry, forming a com- 
plete variegated circle, she could not even smile ; 
and as to appetite, she could not have eaten a 
morsel of even the plummiest piece. 

After dinner she went to her room, half resolved 
to take the five gold-pieces out of her drawer and 
give them to Aunt Anna for Archie McLoud. 
She lifted the handkerchief and looked at them. 
How suggestive was their golden glitter of the 
sunlit satin ! Just then Cousin Kitty called, " Dol- 
ly, Dolly, come ! — it's time we opened our art gal- 
lery. The people are beginning to come." And 
Dolly, covering the gold-pieces with the handker- 
chiefs, shut the drawer and ran down to join Cous- 
in Kitty, saying to herself all the way, " Oh, I 
can't ! I can't !" 

The art gallery was a success. Everybody who 
visited the menagerie paid another five cents and 
went into the harness room. Almost everybody, 
too, gave ten or twenty cents admission, and would 
take no change. 

" No, keep it ; it's for the McLouds," they said. 

The game of ball on the Green was a semi-annu- 
al affair, played on Thanksgiving-day and the day 
of the April fast ; and if the weather was fine a 
large part of the town, that is, of the masculine 
portion, were present, either as players or as look- 
ers-on, and hardly any of the crowd failed to visit 
the menagerie. 


They were admitted to the art gallery four at a 
time, after promising not to tell what they saw. 
Bursts of laughter issuing from behind the closed 
door, whetted the curiosity of those who had not 
been in, while those who had, laughed again. A 
few, it is true, came out looking bewildered. They 
belonged to those hapless folk who cannot see a 
joke. Here is the catalogue written out by Cousin 
Kitty to assist the visitors to the art gallery. If 
you are one of those hapless individuals who can- 
not see a joke, you will find little of interest or of 
wit in this catalogue. But if you have, as I trust, 
a sense of humor, you will appreciate Cousin Kit- 
ty^ efforts, as most of her visitors did. 






Connoisseurs declare that nothing like these artistic gems can be 
founds even in the finest European galleries. 

i. View of Boston (^wood-cut) . . . A. Wheelwright. 
2. A Marble Group M. Clay. 


3. Mustered In and Mustered Out 

{companion pieces) G. Ullem. 

4. View of the Red Sea and Plains Be- 

yond Unknown, 

5. Old English Lyre Lon. D. Ontimes. 

6. Lay of the Last Minstrel Hennessey, 

7. A Bridal Scene S. T. Able, 

8. Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine . . . Sol. D. A. Gain. 

9. A Commentator on the Acts D. Seave. 

10. Cain and Abel Unknown. 

11. Things to Adore H. Ware. 

1 2. View of Cologne N. Farina. 

13. The Seasons C.Ondiment. 

14. The Drill Steele. 

15. Flower of the Family {very fine) . . . Wheatleigh. 

16. One of the Constellations . .'..„#. . T. Inman. 

17. Alpine Scenery {after Bierstadt) . . A. Carpenter. 

1 8. Last Hop of the Season Beers. 

19. Sweet Memories of Childhood B. Stick, 

20. The Skipper's Home {a spirited 

scene) Cheeseborough. 

21. Ho, for the Diggings ! Farmer. 

22. The Last Shot Schumaker. 

23. Hart and Doe . . , Baker. 

24. Wayworn Travellers Crispin. 

25. Handel's Bust B. Room. 

26. Little Indian C. Cobb. 

27. All Afloat {a marine view) Waterman. 

28. The Lost Heir {a subject from Hood's 

poems) f H. Dresser. 

29. Village on the Rhine Cheeseborough. 

30. The Last of the Crispins {wood-cut) . . Schumacher. 

31. The Light of Other Days T. Chandlers. 

32. The Old Mill C. Grinder. 


The menagerie, too, was a success. The mon- 
key outdid himself, and went through all the per- 
formances to which he had been trained in his 
original menagerie. He posed as a dandy with a 
lighted cigar, and rode Skatta in a ring, leaping 
through a hoop which Ned had hung from the 
ceiling. It was with sorrow that his audience 
learned that he was to be returned to his rightful 
owners by stage the next day. 

Johnny Tuttle made an admirable half of an 
elephant, of which Jimmy Trask was the other 
half, and the combined two moved about as clum- 
sily and disjointedly as the real beast could have 
done. It was pronounced to be an admirable and 
accurate representation, in color and texture of 
skin, in trunk, tusks, tail, and feet. 

There was a white rabbit in a cage, a weasel, a 
rat painted red, some blue- and -pink mice, and 
Johnny Tuttle's crow, who could talk like Mr. 
Emerson and cough like Phoebe, the tailoress, 
who was afflicted with a chronic cough. There 
was, at first, talk of adding the Little Madam's 
Australian cockatoo to the collection, but Skipper 
Joe said monkeys and parrots were natural ene- 
mies, and it would never do to have them togeth- 
er in the same room " loose ;" they'd be sure to 
fight, and one of the two, if not both, would be 
killed. But the blue-eyed Persian cat was there, 
and conducted herself with perfect propriety, and 
was much admired. 


Summing up the proceeds from the menagerie 
and art gallery, Cousin Kitty and Ned found they 
had nineteen dollars and seventy - three cents, 
"which will clothe the baby handsomely/' said 
Cousin Kitty ; " and I shall hereafter consider my- 
self as a foster-mother to the little witch. " 

Through all the stir and interest and merriment 
of the afternoon, the meddlesome something had 
kept silence, but now it began to bestir itself, and 

" Dear little Archie ! What a pity somebody 
couldn't clothe him." 

" Well, there's Aunt Anna and lots of folks. I 
don't see why I should give up something I've 
planned and want so much." 

" But don't you want to do it ? I don't believe 
you'd be half as happy going to the ball as ' The 
Chrysanthemum ' as you would to see him in a cun- 
ning little suit you had bought for him." 

And then Dolly began to think about Archie, 
rem'embering how one day she had found him far 
from home, picking buttercups by the roadside, 
and had taken him home on Skatta, and how cun- 
ning the little bareheaded fellow was, with his rings 
of curly black hair like a baby Bacchus. 

And then she made a sudden resolution, and 
ran quickly up to her room, saying allthe way, " I 
will ; yes, I will ! I will ! I will !" snatched the 
pile of gold coins from the corner of the drawer, 
and running down again, thrust them into Aunt 


Anna's hand, saying, " I'll give those to buy clothes 
for Archie." 

Aunt Anna, who had known all about the gold- 
pieces and the plan about the yellow satin, looked 
astonished, and said, " Do you know what you are 
doing, Dolly?" 

" Oh, please, don't say a word, Auntie ! just take 
them," entreated Dolly, distressfully. And so 
Aunt Anna, understanding by intuition the situa- 
tion, forebore to say anything more, having had 
herself, in former years, many a fierce battle with 
selfishness, and knowing how spent and sore such 
a battle often leaves the victor. 

After Dolly got to bed that night she had a 
good cry, in which all regrets for the vanished 
chrysanthemum dream were washed away. She 
did not tell anybody about that battle, not even 
mamma. But years after, when she was obliged to 
choose a fancy dress for a brilliant party in London, 
she remembered that old dream, and went to the 
party as " The Chrysanthemum," in a gown of lus- 
trous yellow satin, bordered with exquisite chrys- 
anthemums and with ornaments of yellow amber. 
And then, for the first time, she told some one who 
had become even dearer than mamma, the story 
of Archie McLoud and the five five -dollar gold- 



On the night of the ball Dolly early betook her- 
self to the " ladies' drawing-room, " so called. This 
was simply the big spare room, or bedchamber. 
A fire had been burning since dusk in the fireplace, 
but a chilliness, mingled with a faint odor of smoke, 
still lingered in the atmosphere of the room. In 
one corner stood a huge tent-bedstead, draped with 
Indian chintz, upon which strange birds of brill- 
iant plumage perched among still stranger and 
more brilliant flowers. The window and dressing- 
table draperies were of the same pattern, so was 
the covering of the great arm-chair in the chimney- 

I hesitate in telling you that this chair came 
over in the Mayflower. There is enough so-called 
Mayflower furniture in existence in this A. D. 1885 
to have filled twice over a bigger vessel than that 
historic bark, whose tonnage, if I remember aright, 
fell considerably below two hundred. 

But this chair did really come over in the May- 
flower, and landed at Plymouth December 21, 1620, 
with the rest of the Pilgrims. It certainly looked 
ancient enough and battered enough to have been 


in the Ark at the time of the Deluge, when Aunt 
Anna hid its age and shabbiness under the afore- 
said Indian chintz, and stuffed it with the softest 
of live-geese feathers. It was a true Sleepy Hol- 
low, and Dolly sank into it with a keen sense of 
luxurious comfort. 

The interval of waiting was not long. She had 
snuffed the candles in the candelabra on either 
side of the mirror but once, when a jingling of 
sleigh-bells was heard, and directly after the door 
of the bedchamber opened, and a bundle of wraps, 
from out which a pair of china -blue eyes peeped, 
came in. The bundle rolled up to the fire, hold- 
ing out a pair of mittened hands, and* exclaiming, 
" Oh, it's dreadful cold, but the sleighing's gor- 
geous !" 

Pretty soon the hands, getting warm, began to 
peel off sections of wrapper, as one gets at the 
heart of an onion — or, to use a prettier and more 
appropriate simile, the wraps began to unfold like 
the calyx of a flower, blossoming at last into a 
pretty little lady with light hair, pink cheeks, and 
china-blue eyes, and clad in gossamery white tar- 
latan, with low neck and short sleeves. 

" Oh," exclaimed Dolly, with a sympathizing 
shiver, " weren't you cold riding in that gown?" 

" Not a bit !" laughed Blue-eyes. " I was wrap- 
ped up so, you know, an' then we had lots o' buf- 
faloes." (She meant carriage-robes.) " An* ma heat 
two bricks for my feet an' one for my hands. Si- 


las says he'll have 'em heat again when we go home. 
Oh no — I wa'n't cold a mite !" 

She then pulled off two long blue-yarn stockings, 
displaying a pair of pink silk slippers. 

" Ain't they pretty?" she asked, putting them 
out for Dolly to admire. " Oh, I do hope nobody 
else won't have pink silk slippers ! Silas got 'em 
for me in Boston. Silas goes to Boston real often." 

Having carefully rolled up her wraps, she put 
them in a corner of the tent-bedstead, where she 
could get them in the general scrimmage for wraps 
that would ensue at the close of the ball, and then 
opened a round purple bandbox which " Silas " 
had brought to the door. It contained an assort- 
ment of artificial roses, mostly pink, which were 
to be disposed about her small person. 

" Ma said I must have a bunch on my skirt 
where it is caught up, an' another right here" — in- 
dicating the edge of her low corsage — " an' some 
in my hair. I wonder if you could fix me ?" she 
added, looking doubtfully at Dolly. " I expect 
Daisy ev'ry minute. I call her i Daisy,' though 
her real name's Phoebe Ann, you know. She al- 
ways fixes me, an' I fix her. But p'r'aps you'll 

" Oh yes," said Dolly, cordially, " I'll like to do 
it. I sometimes help dress mamma. She says 
I'm almost as good as Norah — that's her maid, 
you know," and she took the roses and began 
draping the somewhat stiff tarlatan. 



"Who is yourma?" asked Blue-eyes, "and don't 
you live here?" 

" Oh no, I live in Boston," said Dolly. 

" Do tell !" exclaimed Blue-eyes. " Why, I guess 
you're the little girl we heard about who is visit- 
ing here an' lost her pony, ain't you ?" 

" Yes," replied Dolly, beginning to feel the in- 
convenience of being famous. " But don't you 
think this wreath is too heavy for your hair? 
Let me put just one or two roses in your braids. 
There ! now look." 

Blue-eyes tipped her head first on one side and 
then on the other, and smiled at herself in the 
mirror, not a little vain of her rustic prettiness. 

" Oh yes, I like that real well ; they kind o' 
bring out the plaits, don't you think so? It took 
ma four hours to do those plaits, an' I thought I 
should die — I was so tired! But it pays," she 
added, smiling again at herself in the mirror. 

Before Dolly had altogether finished Blue-eyes 
there was another entrance — a rush, an embrace, 
a sound of broken kisses, and then Daisy, alias 
Phcebe Ann, blossomed out from her calyx, a 
brown little lady, with brown hair and brown 
eyes, clothed in pink tarlatan, with low neck and 
short sleeves. She had a green bandbox contain- 
ing white roses. 

" Why, where's your wreath, Pansy?" she asked, 
in a disappointed tone. " We were goin' to fix 
our hair just alike, I thought." 


" Oh, this little girl fixed my hair. She thought 
it looked nicer so, an' so do I. She'll fix yours 
just like it, I guess." 

Blue -eyes, or Pansy, as we may call her now, 
was just sixteen, and to her, thirteen -year -old 
Dolly was still a "little girl." There's a vast dis- 
tance between thirteen and sixteen — a good deal 
more than there is between twenty-five and twen- 

So Dolly, ready to oblige and always liking to 
do that sort of thing, proceeded to "fix" Phoebe 
Ann's plaited brown locks, and before that was 
done there were more arrivals. 

The jingling of sleigh-bells became almost inces- 
sant, and the door of the "drawing-room" only 
closed to open upon a new arrival. The room 
grew crowded, the bundles of wraps on the tent- 
bedstead multiplied, and there was a continuous 
chattering and fluttering, and mingling of rain- 
bow tints, and a sweet odor of musk and rose as 
in a garden of blossoming plants. Half a dozen 
faces at a time were mirrored in the looking-glass, 
one above another, and the owners nodded and 
smiled at each other, and displayed their white 
teeth in joyous anticipation of the near pleasures 
of the ball. 

Pansy and Daisy, having got " fixed " to their 
satisfaction, came and sat down on low stools upon 
the hearth-rug by the fire, and chattered like a 
couple of English sparrows. 


" Silence Rose '11 be the belle o' the ball, I 
s'pose," twittered Pansy. " Nobody else has a 
chance when she's 'round." 

" An' she's twenty-five, 'f she's a day. An' it's 
time she gave way to us young ones, ma says," 
returned Daisy, who had also reached the mature 
age of sixteen. 

" Well, she is handsome," sighed Pansy. " Oh, 
there she comes now !" 

Dolly looked with some curiosity to see this 
Silence emerge from her calyx. Her head was 
swathed in a cloud -like wrap of soft white wool, 
and from head to foot she was clothed in a gar- 
ment of white fur. She was tall, and looked like 
a lily in her white wraps. 

The calyx unfolded and displayed a slender 
young woman with jet-black hair, a complexion 
of cream-and-roses, and a pair of eyes of the soft 
brilliancy of stars. 

A cry of admiring surprise, followed by a mur- 
mur of unqualified delight, accompanied the fall- 
ing of the wrap of white fur on the floor. 

" It's a military ball, you know," said Silence, 
with a comprehensive smile around the room, 
" and so I thought I'd come as the Daughter of 
the Regiment." 

She had chosen the colors of our national flag 
for her dress. The skirt was of alternate stripes 
of red and white, the waist of blue, trimmed with 
scarlet bands and gilt buttons, while a cunning little j 


epaulet adorned either shoulder. On her head she 
wore the jaunty cap our Goddess of Liberty usual- 
ly wears. A strap went over her right shoulder 
and under her left arm. There were thirteen gilt 
stars on this strap, and to it was attached a can- 
teen, around the edge of which was printed in 
gold letters, " THOMAS ROSE, 1775." 

" Oh, oh !" exclaimed the multitude. " Where 
did 'you get that, Silence? Isn't it cute? ,, 

" My grandfather carried it in the revolutionary 
war/' she replied, somewhat proudly, turning her 
head and stretching her neck to get a glimpse of 
it where it rested on the full skirt. 

She then went up to the looking-glass and sur- 
veyed herself hastily, in an indifferent sort of way. 

"Oh!" said the envious Daisy, "she can afford 
not to look at herself.'' 

Just then the squeak of violins was heard from 
the dancing-hall, from which a single partition 
only separated the ladies' drawing-room. At the 
sound Pansy and Daisy hastily arose and began to 
settle their skirts ; Dolly, too, sprang from the 
depths of the Sleepy Hollow, and there was a si- 
multaneous preening of fine feathers. 

" When you hear the fiddles begin to tune up, 
Dolly, you must start," Ned had said. "Just come 
up to the back door of the hall, an' I'll be there, 
an' we'll get in time enough to see 'em come in." 

So Dolly slipped out from the room, and ran 
down-stairs through the long entrance-hall and 


the dining-room, to the flight of stairs that led up 
into the L, in the rear of the dancing-hall. Ned 
was in waiting as he had promised, and there was 
just time to seat themselves comfortably on one 
of the benches that stood against the wall, and 
look about a bit, before the entrance of the dancers. 

The walls of the hall were dazzlingly white, hav- 
ing been recently whitewashed, and were draped 
with flags and trimmed with evergreens, with which 
were mingled the plumes of the Byfield Light In- 
fantry. These were tall, stiff made feathers of 
white, tipped with scarlet. Custom, of course, 
would not permit the wearing of these plumes at 
the ball with the accompanying box-like hat of 
shiny leather, decorated with a gilt eagle and 
scarlet tassels, so they had been put to this deco- 
rative* purpose. The hall was lighted with the 
best of sperm-oil, in small globe lamps with tin 
reflectors. In these days of the brilliant and odor- 
ous kerosene, not to mention gas, the hall would 
doubtless seem dim, but it certainly did not seem 
so to Dolly and Ned. 

" Oh/' said Dolly, with a deep sigh of content, 
" it's perfectly lovely !" 

The musicians sat on a platform built into a re- 
cess on one side of the fireplace at the upper end 
of the hall. There were three violins, a 'cello, a 
harp, cymbals, and a bugle. 

"D'ye see that man with the bugle? That's 
Kendall," said Ned. " He's tip-top." 


The players having at last brought their various 
instruments into harmony, struck into the first 
chords of the " Wood-up Quickstep ;" and present- 
ly in swept the Daughter of the Regiment, led by 
a tall, handsome man whom Ned said was her 
brother, the captain of the light infantry. They 
were followed by the whole company in pairs, who 
moved up the hall, then across, and down past 
where Dolly and Ned were sitting, and so round 
and round many times, moving gracefully and 
slowly, with soft rustle of tarlatan and silk and mus- 
lin, and manly tread of soldierly feet, and bewilder- 
ing color of scarlet and white and blue. The uni- 
form of the light infantry consisted of white 
trousers with a scarlet stripe down the outside, 
and coats of blue, decorated with scarlet and gilt, 
a very effective costume for a ballroom. 

At the very last came Cousin Kitty. 

Cousin Kitty had brought with her to Byfield 
no ball-dress proper, and at first said she would 
wear a pale blue cashmere. But Aunt Anna had 

" My dear," she said, " it will be a great pleasure 
for our young people to see you in full dress. We 
don't often get a glimpse of such elegancies here ; 
not once in a lifetime, indeed. Besides, I'm afraid 
if you wear an ordinary dress they may take of- 
fence, and feel that you didn't think it worth while 
to ' dress up ' for country-folk." 

So Cousin Kitty had one of her party dresses 


sent down from Boston — the very gown, in fact, in 
which she had been presented at the court of the 
good Queen Adelaide, which fact being whispered 
about the ballroom, caused her at first to be re- 
garded with considerable awe, until it was ascer- 
tained that she was much like other mortals. 

Her gown was of white silk with a long, undu- 
lating train, but with no garniture except the Lit- 
tle Madam's chrysanthemums, which, you may re- 
member, Dolly had fondly hoped to have worn 
on this occasion, as an accompaniment to the yel- 
low satin. She did wear chrysanthemums, as it 
was. She and Cousin Kitty had divided them, and 
very pretty they were, with her blue velvet frock 
for background. 

Cousin Kitty's partner was not in military dress, 
but wore the usual full dress of a gentleman, and 
Dolly did not at first recognize in him the brown- 
eyed doctor whom she was most used to see driv- 
ing at headlong speed behind his white-eyed racker, 
with a small trunk of medicines at his feet. 

" How pretty Pansy looks !" said Dolly, as Blue- 
eyes went dimpling by with Silas, a diminutive, 
fair-haired young soldier. 

" Pansy !" repeated Ned, scornfully. " Her 
name's Betsey Jane Bump. What geese girls are ! 
— some girls, I mean," bethinking himself that he 
was talking to one of the " geese." " I'd knock a 
boy into the middle o' next week that called me 
' Pansy.' " 


"Oh, well, that's different," said Dolly. "Of 
course a boy wouldn't want to be called Pansy." 

" Well, I shouldn't think a girl would, either, 'f 
she had any sense." 

A cotillion followed the polonaise, and this was 
succeeded by money- musk, which in turn was 
followed by another cotillion, and Dolly found 
herself taken out by a tall, military gentleman, who 
was presented to her by her friend the brown-eyed 
doctor, and she danced her very best, while Ned 
looked on admiringly. 

The Little Madam came in and formed a part of 
the group of lookers-on at the lower end of the 
hall, of whom Thankful was one and Betty's moth- 
er, who had come in to help about the supper, an- 
other. They had left the turkeys comfortably 
browning in the brick ovens while they took this 

" Wa'al," sighed Betty's mother, a stout, mid- 
dle-aged woman weighing about two hundred and 
fifty pounds, "my dancin' days 're over. But I did 
use t' like it when I's a gal. An' I like t' look on 
now 's well 's I ever did." 

" Wa'al, for my part, I never had no dancin' 
days," rejoined Thankful. " Never had no time f 

"You don't mean t' say, now, Miss Makepeace, 
that y' don't a'prove o' dancin'?" asked Betty's 
mother, anxiously. 

"I a'prove on't if anybody c'n do it," said 


Thankful. " Look at Miss Kitty there ! I a'prove 
o' her dancin , . ,, 

Cousin Kitty was dancing the Spanish Dance, 
in which she managed her long train so admirably 
as to call forth the unqualified commendation of 
her admirers at the foot of the hall. 

"Dew see now!" exclaimed Betty's mother. 
" She jest giv' a kind o' a fling an* scooped it round 
quicker'n a wink ! Anybody else 'd 'a' sot down 
on it." 

" Wa'al, a young woman that's be'n t' a real 
court an' shook han's 'ith th' queen, an' jest as like's 
not danced 'ith th* king, 'd ough' t' know how t' 
manage the tail o' her gown !" said Thankful, with 
some asperity. 

" Dew tell, now ! Y' don't say so, reelly, Miss 
Makepeace ! Be'n t' court ! Wa'al, wa'al, this is 
new times f Byfield !" 

And so the winged moments flew by all too 
swiftly, and twelve o'clock, the hour for serving 
the supper, drew nigh. 

"I s'pose we'll have to go to bed as soon as 
we've seen the tables," said Dolly, as she seated 
herself by Ned, flushed and sparkling from a "grand 
right and left " all around the hall. 

"Yes, I s'pose so," replied Ned, discontentedly. 
" I wish we could have some turkey, but mother 
said only bread and butter. I say, Dolly, when 
I'm a man I don't believe I'll touch bread and 
butter. I'm just sick of it !" 


" I don't care much about the turkey, but I do 
love the dancing," was Dolly's reply. 

" Dotty," said Cousin Kitty, coming up just then, 
" will you run down and ask Auntie exactly the 
hour that supper is to be served ? Doctor Stone 
would like to know. He is to visit a patient at 
one o'clock." 

" Stay just there, Ned, and I'll be back in a min- 
ute," said Dolly ; and she ran quickly down the 
long passage and the stairway leading to the outer 
kitchen, opened the kitchen door, and stepped into 
a pan of gravy which Betty, not expecting arrivals 
from that quarter, had left upon the floor. She 
had come down with such vehemence that she sent 
a shower of greasy drops over the floor, and, what 
was still worse, over her pretty frock of blue vel- 

"Oh! oh!" she cried out in dismay, withdraw- 
ing her foot well covered with " thickening." " I 
didn't mean to ! I didn't know 'twas there !" * 

" Of course you didn't," was Aunt Anna's reply, 
who always took the sunny view of things. "I'm 
glad it wasn't hot, that's all. Just run to your 
room now, my dear, and change your dress. Lay 
it carefully by itself — we can take it all out, I 

Dolly paused for only just one look around the 
kitchen, which was just then so full of steam from 
the boiling vegetables as to obscure the light of 
the many candles, each of which seemed isolated 


in a little island of mist. Then she turned, by- 
force of habit, to take what Ned would have call- 
ed the " short cut " to her room — viz., that lead- 
ing through the main entrance hall. As she open- 
ed the door of the great dining-room which led 
into this hall, however, she caught a glimpse of a 
group of gentlemen in military dress standing at 
the farther end. 

No ; that would never do ! she could not go that 
way ; she could not expose to the eye of any one 
she might chance to meet her gravy-bedaubed vel- 
vet. She paused, with her hand resting on the 
latch, to consider. 

There was one other way — a way, too, where 
there would not be the remotest possibility of 
meeting anybody. That way led from the dining- 
room up the old flight of stairs to the secret cham- 
ber, thence through the Little Madam's room to 
the passage which passed by her own door. The 
Little Madam she had just left busy at mashing 
turnips in the kitchen, and the coast was clear in 
that direction. 

So, leaving the dining-room, she groped along 
with outstretched arms through the narrow entry 
and up the dark stairs, making a slight noise as 
she stumbled once or twice over the unfamiliar 
steps ; for though she had often gone over them in 
the daytime, when the light, though dim, was suf- 
ficient, she had never attempted to do so in the 
night. Having arrived, as she judged, at the pan- 


el, she put out her hand in search of the magic 
clover-leaf — the " open sesame " to what she some- 
times called her Ali Baba's cave — when she felt it 
seized by another hand, and she was drawn firmly 
but gently within the secret chamber, while a fa- 
miliar voice hoarsely whispered, " 'Sh ! 'sh ! don't 
y' make no noise ! It's me, Dolly ! y' needn't b' 
scared. I'm mighty glad y're come !" 

" Why, 'Zekle, what's the matter, and what are 
you doing here ?" asked the startled Dolly, sup- 
pressing by a hair's-breadth the scream that had 
rushed to her lips when 'Zekle touched her ha;nd. 

" 'Sh ! 'sh ! don't make no noise ! the critter '11 
hear. He's right here, a-gittin' in t' the Little 
Madam's winder. I see him a-skulkin' 'roun', an' 
jes' kep' watch o' the pesky critter ; an' he's a-walk- 
in' inter th' trap 's innercent 's a weasel." And 
'Zekle chuckled a very subdued chuckle, as befit- 
ted the situation. 

" But who is it ?. Who's a-getting into the win- 
dow?" asked Dolly. 

" Why, the identikle vill'in that stole Skatta, an' 
killed Gaston, an' tried t' rob the squire ; an' this 
time he's a goner." 

" But where is he?" persisted Dolly, still slight- 
ly bewildered. 

" Why, a-gittin' inter th' Little Madam's winder, 
didn't I tell y' ?" replied 'Zekle, impatiently. " Jest 
look 'n here !" and he slipped the noiseless panel 
into the Little Madam's room, and Dolly saw the 


thief by the window quite plainly, for the night 
was clear though moonless. While they were look- 
ing, he slipped out the pane of glass upon the set- 
ting of which he had been at work. 

" There !" said 'Zekle, closing the panel. " Now 
you jest run an* git the squire here quicker 'n scat. 
He'll find that spring in a minute, an' I might 
manage him alone, an' then ag'in I mightn't." 
And while he was yet speaking, Dolly was off, 
flying with winged feet, utterly unmindful of the 
gravy-bedaubed velvet, in search of Uncle Harry, 
whom she found at last talking politics in the bar- 
room with some of the neighbors, who had saun- 
tered in, as usual, to look at the dancing and par- 
take of the good cheer 

She whispered just a word or two in his ear, 
and he immediately followed her out of the room. 
She had only said, " Oh, Uncle Harry, he's come 
again, and 'Zekle's got him/' 

But as they hurried along she told him who had 
come, and explained the situation, and he took 
down his musket in passing. 

" Don't come any farther, Dolly," he said, per- 
emptorily, as they reached the stairs leading to 
the secret chamber ; and she was forced to obey, 
though fired with a sudden courage, and an in- 
tense desire to be in at the capture of her old en- 
emy. She listened, however — she was not forbid- 
den to do that. A few whispered words passed 
between Uncle Harry and 'Zekle ; then there was 


the sound of a window cautiously lifted, a muffled 
footstep upon the floor of the Little Madam's 
room ; these were succeeded by a brief struggle, 
and then there was silence. 

Presently Uncle Harry came to the door of 
the secret chamber, from which a light was now 
streaming, and peered into the dark depths below. 

" Are you there, Dolly ?" he asked. 


" Just go and get Doctor Stone, will you ? And 
don't tell anybody else." 

Doctor Stone ! Where was Doctor Stone ? In 
the ballroom, of course. And how am I to get to 
him without everybody seeing me? And if ev- 
erybody sees me, how can I keep them from find- 
ing out that something has happened, anyhow ? 

These were some of the perplexing questions 
that slipped through Dolly's mind as she half-me- 
chanically made her way to the rear entrance of 
the hall, where she had left Ned, and where she 
hoped still to find him. There he was, with his 
eyes fixed on the door, momentarily expecting her 
to come in to report the exact hour for supper, 
and wondering what was keeping her so long. 

She beckoned to him. " Ned," she said, hold- 
ing the door open a couple of inches, "just tell 
Doctor Stone to come down into the little entry 
off the dining-room. Don't let anybody hear you 
tell him, and he mustn't tell and you mustn't." 
And having so spoken, she attempted to close the 


door, but Ned was too quick for her: he grasped 
her sleeve, exclaiming, 

"What's the matter, Dolly? How your eyes 
shine! 'Tisn't mother ?" he added, anxiously. 

" Nothing's the matter to trouble about ; but 
oh, let me go ! And do hurry, Ned ! You'll know 
by-and-by." And shutting the door, she hurried 
to the entry, where it seemed ages before Doctor 
Stone appeared, although it was really only about 
two minutes. She explained at once : " 'Zekle 
and Uncle Harry have got the thief that killed 
Gaston. He was getting in at a window, and they 
caught him, and Uncle Harry wants you." 

Doctors are never taken by surprise, whether 
it's an earthquake or a fit, a revolution or a gun- 
shot wound. But they always feel safest when 
they have their remedies at hand ; so the doctor 
said, " Oughtn't I to go out and get my medicine- 
chest ?" 

" Oh no, I don't believe it's that," said Dolly. 
" I didn't hear anything." 

"Oh, but — halloo!" said the doctor, incoherent- 
ly, "how did you happen to be there?" 

"I wasn't there — only part way there," said 
Dolly ; "and I mustn't go any farther," she added, 
as they reached the staircase. 

" Well, this is interesting !" said the doctor. 
" Seems like the first chapter in a first-rate novel. 
I never saw this secret chamber before ; heard of 
it, though." 


Uncle Harry only wanted to consult with the 
doctor, as the most judicious person at hand, as 
to what disposal to make of the thief until morn- 
ing, when of course he could be taken to the coun- 
ty jail at Plymouth. They had already tied his 
hands with a rope which 'Zekle had taken the pre- 
caution to have at hand. 

" It's just as well to get the fellow off quietly," 
Mr. Park said. " I suppose nobody knows any- 
thing about it but you," turning to 'Zekle. 

" I said nothin' t' nobody," replied 'Zekle. "Tho' 
'f I'd had time when I see him a-makin' f th' win- 
der, I might 'a' got some help." 

"Everything's so full here to-night, outbuild- 
ings and all, there don't seem to be any place to 
put him," continued Mr. Park. 

" Put him in my office," rejoined the doctor. 
" 'Zekle can keep watch over him, I suppose." 

" I reckon he won't be likely to get away," was 
'Zekle's grim response. " Here's his own wep'n," 
displaying the huge pistol. 

So between them Mr. Park and 'Zekle led the 
thief out by a side door opening into the garden, 
and over to Doctor Stone's office, and neither the 
dancers in the ballroom, nor the busy caterers in 
the kitchen, nor the gossiping neighbors in the 
bar-room, got a hint of this comedy which had 
come nigh to being a tragedy, and the knowledge 
of which the next day stirred Byfield to its very 


The doctor stayed to replace the pane the thief 
had taken from the window, and then going home 
he laid aside his dress suit for his ordinary suit of 
tweed, and went off for a five-mile ride, to visit a 
patient dangerously ill with lung fever. 

Meanwhile Dolly soothed the perturbed cocka- 
too, whose midnight slumbers had been abruptly 
broken by the sharp though brief struggle made 
to secure the thief. 

"Oh dear! oh dear! Where is she? Where's 
my love? Kiss poor Polly — poor Polly — poor — 
poor — Pol — ol — ol — " and he was again asleep. 

" I'll go to bed. It'll never do for me to see 
Ned. He'll get it out of me," Dolly was saying 
to herself, as she stepped out into the passage, and 
almost ran plumply into that young gentleman him- 
self, who had been seeking her vainly everywhere. 

"Good-night!" she cried out, hastily retreating 
towards her own room. 

Ned made a plunge at her, attempting to seize 
her arm again, and only missing it by half an inch, 
and the next instant she was inside her room with 
the door shut. 

He retreated from the field beaten and not a lit- 
tle sore. What was this wonderful secret, and he 
went off in search of the doctor. He was not to 
be found, neither was his father, and even 'Zekle 
had mysteriously disappeared. 

He went to the dining-room, where his mother 
was superintending the taking in of the supper. 


" Mother, what's the matter with Dolly?" he 

" She stepped into a pan of gravy," was the un- 
satisfactory reply. 

" But she's gone to bed," persisted Ned. 

" Well, I dare say she felt too tired to change her 
clothes," said Mrs. Park, absently, as she indicated 
to Betty where to place- the last of a long line of 
vegetable dishes. 

" Too tired !" reflected Ned, in disgust. "Why, 
not half an hour ago she was for setting up all 
night." And utterly baffled, he, too, went off to 

Here the slayer of Gaston, the thief, drops out 
of our story. He was tried and condemned to fif- 
teen years' imprisonment on two indictments, viz., 
"assault and battery" and "breaking and enter- 
ing." His doings were more than a nine-days' 
wonder in Byfield. He made no confession, but it 
was supposed he had been hanging about ever 
since the return of Skatta, waiting for a chance to 
get possession of the Little Madam's reported 
" treasure," in the existence of which everybody 
but himself had ceased to believe. He had fixed 
upon the night of the ball as a favorable time in 
which to make the attempt, with what success we 
have seen. 




How Ned came to do such a thing will always 
remain something of a mystery. Mr. Emerson 
laid it to the account of the " general cussedness" 
of boys. But Mr. Emerson was fearfully out of 
sorts at that time. Whether it was the succession 
of Thanksgiving-dinners to which he had been in- 
vited, and of which he had recklessly partaken, or 
whether it was only a perennial visitation of his 
arch-enemy, the fact remains, that w T ith the draw- 
ing near of the new year his dyspepsia had in- 
creased in violence, and his temper worsened in 

Ned had got into scrapes before ; he would not 
have been a genuine boy if he had not. But he 
had usually had " some regard for the decencies of 
life/* as his father remarked in his wrath. 

When he, with three other boys, dragged the 
Perkins's family carriage to the top of Crow Hill, 
and then coasted over the turf into the mill-pond, 
barely escaping with their lives, and leaving the 
ancient chariot soaking in its waters, people were 
scandalized. But Mr. Perkins having good-nat- 
uredly remarked that he was " glad the old thing 


was at last disposed of satisfactorily," and at once 
entered into negotiations for a new carriage, they 
said, " Well, boys will be boys," and then forgot all 
about it. 

Then, too, when he with the same boys made 
that memorable raid on Deacon Hart's watermelon 
patch, in which they were caught, and Ned was 
forced to expend all his allowance of pocket-mon- 
ey for three months to pay his share of the dam- 
age, the people in general sympathized with the 
boys. " Nobody ever expects to eat their own 
watermelons," they said. " Watermelons always 
get stole." 

It was the same with that Fourth-of-July epi- 
sode, over which the Byfield folks laughed so at 
Phoebe's expense. Phoebe, the tailoress, was a 
courageous woman, who liked to boast of her cour- 
age. Like another woman known in literature, she 
had been heard to say that she did not fear the 
face of " mortial man." 

On this Fourth-of-July night — it was a dark, 
thundery night, following a thundery day — her 
boasted courage was put to a severe test. At 
twelve o'clock she was aroused by a knock at her 
door. The neighbors were in the habit of calling 
upon her in emergencies. She was a capable 
woman, knew just what to do for a baby with 
croup, or for a boy in convulsions from over-eating. 
It was no unusual thing for her to be called up in 
the night in this way. 


She partially dressed and went to the door. 
She had spoken from the window at first, demand- 
ing " Who's there ?" But at the instant she put 
her head out there had come a blinding flash of 
lightning, followed by a deafening peal, and she 
had drawn in her head without waiting for a reply ; 
for, though not afraid of " mortial man/' she had 
a slight dread of a thunder-storm. 

So she hastened to the door, and, throwing it 
open, her light revealed a man standing a little 
one side — a man of remarkable height and breadth, 
wearing his hat well over his face, and carrying a 
small carpet-bag, a genuine carpet-bag of tapestry 
carpeting. He was standing at the foot of the 
three stone steps leading up to the door. 

Phoebe said " Good- evening," and waited for 
him to speak, but he neither spoke nor moved. 

" Well?" she said, at last, impatiently. But still 
no answer. 

" Can't y' speak? what d' y* want? I can't 
stand here all night," said Phoebe, when, with a 
tremendous explosion, his head flew in pieces, his 
carpet-bag burst, and Phoebe, " scared t' death," 
as she confessed the next day, banged the door, 
bolted it, and waited till the first pale rays of day- 
light revealed the remains of the fearful appari- 
tion lying at the foot of the steps. These remains 
consisted of a suit of clothes of ancient make, 
which Phoebe recognized as the work of her pred- 
ecessor in the tailoring business, fragments of a 


hat, and bits of tapestry carpeting scattered over 
a large area. The clothes had been propped on 
rails, which accounted for the prodigious height 
of the scarecrow. 

Bits of red paper betrayed the cause of the ex- 
plosion, and Phoebe comprehended at once the joke 
that had been played upon her. 

" It's some o' that Ned Park's work," she had 
said, smiling in spite of the chagrin she felt at be- 
ing so frightened. For Ned, notwithstanding his 
pranks, was a prime favorite with her , indeed, if 
the truth be told, she liked him all the better for 
them. The hat as well as the carpet-bag had 
been filled with fire-crackers, and a fuse arranged 
to explode them at the right moment. 

"An' I s'pose th' young rascals were hid out 
there somewhere laughin' at me," thought Phoe- 
be, and her supposition was correct. They were 
hidden about six feet from the door, behind 
the rain-water hogshead, where they enjoyed to 
the utmost the success of their original firework 

But this last prank of Ned's which I am about 
to relate indicated a much greater depth of de- 
pravity, so some people thought — his father among 
the number. He was not alone in this nefarious 
transaction. He had an accomplice, none other 
than Johnny Tuttle, the hero of the temperance 
tale, who, my boy readers will like to know, was 
not altogether good — not too good to live, by any 


means — and who, although a hero, was a fair spec- 
imen of uproarious boyhood. 

At that time it was the law in Massachusetts 
that people intending marriage must have the 
banns read or posted in some public place. In By- 
field they were usually posted, though occasionally 
read or " cried/' as it was called. As, for instance, 
on one Sunday while Dolly was there, after the 
benediction, as the people were going out, the 
town-clerk arose from his seat in the gallery and 
announced the "intention of marriage" of Samuel 
Latham and Priscilla Weston. 

The banns were always posted in the meeting- 
house. This old meeting-house, built in 1732, 
with square pews and diamond-paned, leaded win- 
dows, had been remodelled a hundred years later, 
and a spire and vestibule and porches added, the 
latter admirably arranged for nest-building on the 
part of mud-swallows, and as a lounging-place for 
the church-goers before and after service. In one 
corner of the vestibule, where you turned to go up 
the stairs to the galleries, the " publishments," as 
they were called, were posted, written on a slip of 
paper and fastened up with four tacks. The pair 
thus posted were said to be " published." 

On Sunday mornings almost everybody, the 
young people of the congregation especially, cast 
a glance of inquiry into that corner as they entered, 
to see if there were any fresh publishments. There 
were often surprises, for engagements of marriage 


were not announced then as now. People liked a 
little air of mystery to hang about these matters ; 
they fancied too great publicity lessened their 
charm, as contact with rough winds spoils the ten- 
der grace of the rose. 

On the morning of the last Sunday of the year 
18 — , a surprise awaited the church-goers in By- 
field. The morning was clear and frosty, the 
sleighing good, and a more than usual number be- 
took themselves to this last service of the year. 
At this service the pastor usually gave a sort of 
resume of local events of the year, with the lessons 
to be drawn therefrom, and few cared to miss his 
pithy and apt teachings. 

The first arrivals immediately espied a fresh bit 
of paper in the publishing corner. The sight was 
unexpected, for Thanksgiving - day, the day of 
family reunions, was also the popular day for wed- 
dings, and there had been no less than four on 
the Thanksgiving just past. People were not look- 
ing for another so soon. But the surprise of these 
first-comers deepened into the profoundest aston- 
ishment as they read of the intention of marriage 
between Hiram Emerson and Amanda Matilda 

Who was Amanda Matilda Mortimer? 

" Never heard her name before," remarked one. 
"Sly, ain't he?" 

" Where upon earth did he find her? He never 
goes anywhere." 


" Lovely times she'll have with him and his 
queer old mother!" remarked one spiteful soul. 

" Oh, oh !" — running up to a fresh arrival — "who 
do you think's published ? — Mr. EMERSON !" paus- 
ing to see the effect of her words. The effect was 

" Mr, Emerson /" incredulously. "You don't 
mean it ! I don't believe it !" 

"Well, just go up there and see for yourself!" 

The unbeliever went up and read the notice 
carefully, not then fully crediting even the evi- 
dence of sight. " Well, I am beat !" was her sole 

Meanwhile the crowd in the vestibule grew 
dense, for no one dreamed of going inside and 
seating herself while under the stress of this as- 
tounding bit of news. The report of it at last 
crept out into the open porches, where the men 
were discussing " swamping " and " milling " and 
the probabilities of a cold winter. 

"Goin' t' git merried,eh? — Mr. Emerson? Wa'al, 
I'm glad on't. 'Tain't good V man t' be alone," 
quoted Deacon Hart, who had been married four 
times. "Who's 't tew?" 

" Well, I d'n' know," was the reply of his neigh- 
bor. " D' you ?" he asked of the man next in line, 
who had told him the news. 

"No, I don't. Who's he published to, Sam?" 
passing the question on ; and Sam learns from a 


roguish -looking girl at the door of the vestibule 
that the lady's name is Amanda Matilda Mortimer. 

"It sounds like a hoax," said Sam to his right- 
hand neighbor. Sam had read " The Children of 
the Abbey " in his young and innocent days, and 
thought the name sounded familiar. " But don't 
say anything. The joke's too good to spoil. The 
boy that did it — it's a boy, I'll bet a dollar! — 
ought to have a leather medal." 

" Mortimer !" echoed Deacon Hart, the name at 
last reaching his ears. " Never heerd o no Mor- 
timers 'n these parts. Must 'a' come from York 
State, where his mother's folks be." 

And so query and speculation, astonishment and 
laughter alternated, and two boys leaning over the 
railing of the stairs midway of the vestibule looked 
down upon the excited multitude, shaking at one 
moment with laughter over the success of their 
prank, and at another shivering with fear of its 
possible consequences, but it must be acknowl- 
edged that the laughter outweighed the fear. 

The pastor, a grave and courtly gentleman, ar- 
riving, made his way in surprise through this chat- 
tering, giggling crowd, who, suddenly brought to 
the remembrance of the fact that the day was 
Sunday, and the service about to begin, hastily 
followed him in. 

The two boys fled before the crowd of singers 
and others that came surging up the stairway, and 
betook themselves to the " niggers' seats," as they 


were called, though at that time not one of the de- 
spised race for whose use they had been set apart 
lived within the limits of Byfield. 

These " nigger seats " were in either corner of 
the gallery, square pews raised above the level of 
the gallery floor, and infested the greater part of 
the year with wasps. 

From time immemorial the understanding had 
been that boys were not to occupy these seats 
during service. They might eat their pies and 
dough -nuts there at noon if they liked, but they 
were altogether too far away from the sober por- 
tion of the congregation to be a fit and safe place 
for them during service. These seats were entire- 
ly hidden by the galleries from the people in the 
pews below — the fathers and mothers — and as to 
the singers and players on violins, and the young 
men who habitually sat in the galleries — well, their 
conduct was not always above reproach, and they 
would be likely to view with a lenient eye any 
shortcomings on the part of the boys. Further- 
more, by closing the doors of these " nigger seats," 
and dropping upon the floor, the occupants could 
be entirely hidden from everybody in the meeting- 
house, galleries included. 

Yes, it certainly was a wise decision that had 
closed those seats to occupancy during service. 
And had not our two boys been utterly reckless 
under a sense of deserved and impending punish- 
ment, they would never have thought of breaking 


this unwritten law. But remarking that " they 
might as well be killed for an old sheep as a 
lamb," they buttoned the door of the " niggers' 
seat " and abandoned themselves to the conse- 

The congregation having at last all gone in, there 
arrived in the vestibule, almost simultaneously, two 
men who belonged to that class of humanity that 
are always just a minute late — Mr. Emerson and 
the town-clerk. Mr. Emerson adjusted his specta- 
cles at the- right angle and walked up to read the 
publishment. So taken by surprise was he that he 
did not at first reading comprehend that he was 
the Hiram Emerson announced therein as intend- 
ing marriage. He was reading it a second time 
when the town-clerk came up. 

" Halloo ! what's that ?" he said. He was equal- 
ly surprised to find a notice of which he knew 
nothing posted in his special corner. 

" You ought to know, if anybody," was the 

" Well, 'tain't signed," said the town-clerk, who 
at once noticed a defect that had apparent- 
ly escaped the observation of those who had 
read it. 

" Who's Amanda Matilda Mortimer, anyhow?" 
he asked, looking suspiciously at Mr. Emerson. 

" Hanged 'f I know !" was the reply, and Mr. 
Emerson's eyes twinkled. " I'm thankful the young 
scamps had the grace to use a fictitious name." It 


was apparent that he, too, had read " The Children 
of the Abbey." 

" I think I know who did it," he resumed. " It's 
a piece of revenge, and I don't much blame them." 

The town-clerk took down the notice and made 
a move to tear it up. 

" Let me have it," said Mr. Emerson, and he 
stowed it carefully away in his breast-pocket. 

At noon the congregation learned that they had 
been hoaxed — that the publishment was spurious 
— that Amanda Matilda Mortimer was a myth, and 
great was their rage. 

The boys stood ready, caps in hand, and as the 
final "amen" dropped from the pastor's lips, they 
slipped from the "nigger pew," and were out of 
the meeting-house afid away before any other of 
the congregation had fairly reached the vestibule. 
And it was well understood who were the rogues ; 
their final act had betrayed them ; it was not that 
of innocents. 

"Ain't published, eh?" asked Deacon Hart, 
striving in vain to comprehend ; and when the 
iniquitous joke did dawn upon him, adding, " Well, 
well ! them boys ought'er be dealt pooty severely 
with." With which opinion a majority of the con- 
gregation agreed. 

When Mr. Park reached home he looked up 
Ned. He found him leaning idly against the barn 
door, thoughtfully kicking the snow with his foot. 
He was wondering how his father and mother 


would view the joke, and was not at all startled 
when he heard his father's voice say, " Ned, come 
to my room ; I wish to speak with you." 

He obeyed, not with any great alacrity, and on 
arriving found his father already seated at the ta- 
ble where he transacted business as justice of the 
peace. Ned did not feel at liberty to sit down, as 
he would ordinarily have done, and so stood as a 
culprit might who was awaiting his sentence. 

" Is this true that I hear, Ned ?" his father be- 
gan — " that you could so far forget all decency as 
to stick up a publishment of Mr. Emerson to — 
to — " hesitating at the lady's name. 

" Amanda Matilda Mortimer," suggested Ned, 
a gleam of fun stealing out of the corner of either 
eye, in spite of himself. 

But his father was not to be softened by a com- 
ic view of the affair. His face grew stern as he 
noticed that gleam of fun. 

(Mr. Park had left the meeting-house so prompt- 
ly that he had only learned that the publishment 
was a hoax. He had not learned that Amanda 
Matilda Mortimer was a myth.) 

"It may seem fun to you, sir," he said, " but 
it seems to me you are getting too old for such 
tricks, and ought to have manliness enough to be 
done with them." This last thrust hurt Ned. 

" It's no worse than Mr. Emerson does himself!" 
he burst out. " 'Tain't so bad. The other day I 
spelt isosceles with two o's, an' he said there was a 


word spelt with two o's that just described me, 
an* nobody's going t' call me a fool T I can help 
it — not even Piggy." 

" Ned, how often have I told you that whatever 
nickname you boys may choose to give Mr. Emer- 
son, it's not to be repeated in my presence. In 
my«'<lay, a boy who did such a thing would have 
got a sound flogging, and served him right." 

Ned muttered something in reply. 

" What's that you say?" asked his father. 

" I'm glad I didn't live in those days, then." 

" And how do you think your mother feels about 
it ?" his father resumed. " I should think you 
might have a little regard for her feelings, if your 
own sense of what is right and decent is no re- 

This was a still harder thrust, for Ned had a 
boy's chivalrous feeling for his mother. She was 
the true Madonna of his youthful worship ; and 
although he might try her sorely at times, none 
knew better than he how the thought of her — of 
what she might think and feel — had kept him back 
from many a scrape. He felt that the scrapes he 
hadn't got into just on account of his considera- 
tion for his mother far outnumbered those he had. 
He did not say anything for a moment. 

" Well, I wish I hadn't done it, for mother's 
sake," he said at last, "but I don't care a darn for 
Mr. Emerson. I tell you, father, you don't know 
anything about it — the way he's knocked us boys 


round lately. He's as savage as a bear. An' I 
wish he was one, an' could be caged." This last 
sentence sotto voce. 

"Well, Ned," replied his father, soothingly, 
"you know Mr. Emerson is a great sufferer, and 
allowances must be made. At the same time, he's 
a first-class teacher. He'll put you through and 
fit you well for Harvard, and few country school- 
teachers can do that. And you've got to learn to 
put up with things. A little knocking round won't 
hurt you : it'll do you good. 

" But that isn't the question. I must say I am 
truly grieved that a son of mine could do what you 
have done to-day. Had it been on a week-day, or 
in any other place, it would not seem so bad. But 
to forget all the proprieties of time and place — 
" As to Mr. Emerson and Miss— Miss— " 

" Amanda Matilda Mortimer," put in Ned again, 
and he smiled. He could not help it, as he re- 
called the combination over which he and Johnny 
had labored so successfully. 

"As to Mr. Emerson and this Miss Mortimer, 
how do you think they must feel?" 

"Why, father," exclaimed Ned, "there's no such 
person as Amanda Matilda Mortimer !" 

" No such person ! — no such person !" repeated 
the bewildered Mr. Park. 

"Why no! she's only a name — Amanda Mal- 
vina Fitzwilliams, don't y' know? an' Lord Mor- 
timer, in < Th' Children of the Abbey.' " 



" No, I don't know," replied Mr. Park, some- 
what ruffled at his blunder, but at the same time 
greatly relieved. " I never read that delightful ro- 
mance. My father didn't allow me to read nov- 
els." Which statement was strictly true, though 
Uncle Harry had long since got bravely over 
the interdiction, as Ned knew. He was a great 
lover of the Waverley Novels — as great a lover 
of " Ivanhoe " as Ned himself — and had sat up till 
three o'clock one night to finish it, after his return 
from that trip to Plymouth alluded to in an earlier 
chapter of this story, about the time of the tour- 
nament. But Ned discreetly kept silence. 

" Well, that doesn't make it so bad — not quite. 
I'm glad you had the decency to use a fictitious 
name. Mr. Emerson can settle with you as he 
likes ; I sha'n't interfere," he concluded. " Now I 
think you had better go to your room until din- 

Dinner was served at the tavern at four o'clock 
on Sundays, and Ned had a long interval for re- 
flection. About an hour before dinner there was 
a gentle knock at his door and his mother entered. 
The interview may be safely left to your imagina- 

If our two boys expected a burst of wrath on 
the part of Mr. Emerson they were disappointed. 
Mr. Emerson was a man of surprises. He never 
did exactly what you expected he was going to 
do. After a season of irritability and petulance, 


just when appearances indicated nothing less than 
a perfect cyclone of angry passion, a gleam of hu- 
mor like a ray of sunlight would pierce the clouds, 
the clouds would scatter and disappear, and a calm 
ensue as serene as the blue depths of a June sky. 

So it was in this instance. The boys had had a 
hard time with Mr. Emerson, and he knew it. As 
was stated in the beginning of this chapter, the 
demon of dyspepsia had held full possession of 
him, and he had been merciless. And although, 
as he said to Mr. Park, when they talked the mat- 
ter over a few days later, the outrageous hoax 
might be laid at the door of the " general cussed- 
ness of boys," in his heart he did not blame these 
two. He really had a profound sympathy for boy- 
hood ; he could easily put himself in a boy's place. 

So as he went home on that Sunday, with the 
spurious publishment stowed away in his breast- 
pocket, he was in a more amiable frame of mind 
than he had been for weeks. As he sat in his com- 
fortable library, he pulled out the bit of paper, 
smoothed it, and read it anew. He smiled a little, 
and then fell into a reverie. How many years ago 
was it that Amanda Malvina Fitzwilliams was his 
boyish ideal of a lovely woman ? Twenty years ? — 
thirty years? He was a yellow-haired laddie then, 
studying Greek and Latin, and consoling himself 
for the hours spent over those tough mental gym- 
nastics with " The Children of the Abbey," " The 
Mysteries of Udolpho," and " Evelina." This last, 


he remembered, he did not like so well as the oth- 
er two. It was vastly entertaining, but it was not 
so full of delightful mystery, not so poetic, perhaps. 

How that dreamy, poetry -loving little laddie 
had changed with the years ! But had he changed 
so much, after all? He had crusted over, so to 
speak. Contact with the world, the tussle which 
comes sooner or later with principalities and pow- 
ers, had hardened him outwardly. But, as he 
mused, the man of forty felt that there was a 
good deal of the yellow-haired laddie left in him 
yet. Why couldn't he bring it out more? Why 
couldn't he let his boys see — he called them his 
boys, this childless man ! — why could he not let 
them see that his youth was as truly a part of 
himself as his graver middle life? that, in fact, of 
every true life childhood and youth are as much a 
part as middle life and old age. It is youth that 
is immortal, perennial — constantly renewing itself 
as one grows in years, taking deeper root, bearing 
richer fruit, but still immortal youth. 

Wasn't this a blessed truth to teach his boys? 
Should he not let them know it was a truth by 
showing them that he could sympathize with them 
on all sides — could see their possibilities as well as 
their faults ? 

He went to the book -shelves and took down 
from an obscure corner the three dingy leather- 
bound volumes of " The Children of the Abbey." 
It was years since he had looked into them. He 


dusted them tenderly with his pocket-handkerchief, 
and began to turn over the yellow leaves. He fell 
into another reverie, which lasted till twilight stole 
in, filling the room with its soft memory-haunted 
shadows. Then he aroused himself briskly, re- 
placed the books, and betook himself to his moth- 
er's sitting-room. 

Well, after all, Ned and Johnny had done no 
great harm ; they had only given him a few hours 
of pleasant retrospection ; and he went to school 
the next morning in the most amiable of tempers, 
and it remained with him through the day. Ned's 
manly apology was graciously received, and a few 
kind, sympathetic words in reply did more to se- 
cure Ned's loyalty than years of the smoothest in- 
tercourse could have done. 

At the close of the afternoon session he invited 
the whole school to a candy-pull that evening in 
his big kitchen, where they were received and de- 
lightfully entertained by the quaint little old lady 
in her bizarre dress, whose acquaintance we have 
already made at the Thanksgiving dinner at the 

" I don't know whether I'm sorry or not I stuck 
up that publishment," said Ned to Dolly, as they 
were returning home from the candy-pull, blissful 
and sticky. "If 't hadn't been f that we shouldn't 
have had this candy-pull to-night, I'll bet. Queer, 
ain't it? Everybody said Mr. Emerson 'd be as 
mad 's fire. But I b'lieve I never liked him half 


as well r s I do this minute. Anyway, I don't 
t/lieve I'll ever try to plague him again." 

As to whether he ever did or did not, let each 
boy judge for himself. Human nature is weak, 
and, to quote from Thankful, "dretful human." 

YARROW. 247 



The days lengthened, the cold strengthened, in 
accordance with the proverb, and one late Febru- 
ary day Dolly was standing at dusk by the sitting- 
room window, looking out upon what was visible 
of the wintry landscape through the snow that was 
falling silently and in great flakes. She was look- 
ing out upon the spot where Gaston lay, thinking 
about him, as she often did. One hand held back 
the window drapery, while the other hung listless- 
ly by her side. 

Presently, into the hand hanging by her side, 
a cold, dewy nose was thrust. She turned quickly, 
and there in the uncertain firelight stood a dog 
with head uplifted, his wistful eyes seeking hers, 
and his magnificent tail waving slowly to and fro. 
A very ghost of a dog he seemed to Dolly's first, 
startled glance, but a second thrust of the cool, 
dewy nose proved him to be, without question, a 
substantial creature. 

He was a stranger. Dolly had never before seen 
him, or any dog like him. He was entirely unlike 
the huge, broad-muzzled, tawny Gaston. This dog 


had thin flanks and a sharp muzzle, with a tan spot 
under either eye. 

" Who are you, and where did you come from ?" 
she asked, as she might of a human being; and 
the dog answered with a whine, still moving his 
tail to and fro friendlily. 

Dolly dropped the curtain and walked forward 
to the fire, the dog following. She lay down upon 
the hearth-rug, a favorite place and position with 
her, and he lay down, too, beside her, giving a sigh 
of content as he did so, and with his paws and 
head resting on the edge of her gown. Tucked 
under his collar she espied a note tied with a blue 
ribbon, and directed to " Mistress Dorothea." 

" I wonder," she said, untying the blue ribbon, 
" do you come from the same place as Skatta." 

As she opened the note a sprig of something 
dropped, which a label attached to it said was 
white heather, and brought good -luck. There 
were also some verses purporting to be 



" I've crossed the blue Atlantic wave, 
Fve come fr 07n distant Yarrow, 
Where poets sing of birken shades 
And tell a tale of sorrow. 

il From where the blissful skylark sings. 
Up springing from the heather, 
While the proud eagle, soaring high, 
Sees Yarrow flow beneath her. 

YARROW. 249 

" There blooms the yellow gow an still, 
And there the rabbits burrow : 
Green are the hohns as when was sung 
The bonny Braes of Yarrow. 

" The swan on fair St. Marys lake 
Still floats — as sweet and rare, O, 
The apple frae the rock hangs low 
Above the flowing Yarrow. 

a Sad, sad the day they led me frae 
Those bonny Braes of Yarrow / 
But if you II love me, sweet, ah soon 
Will flee all dule and sorrow ! 

u Fair art thou as the i bonnie bride J 
The poefs ' winsome marrow P 
And If A faithful collie I / 

My name ? My name is — Yarrow /" 

The door opened, a curly head was thrust in, 
and " Do you like him, Dolly ?" asked Ned. 

" Oh, Ned, is that you ? Come in and tell me 
all about him !" and Ned entered, followed by 
Cousin Kitty. " Where did he come from ? and 
who sent him ? Ah, Cousin Kitty, it was you !" 
catching sight of Cousin Kitty's smiling, conscious 
face. " I couldn't bear to have had him if he had 
looked one bit like Gaston, but he doesn't. No- 
body can take Gaston's place," said the loyal Dol- 
ly, speaking of Gaston in the way she always 
thought of him, as a real person. 

" I meant to have got him along for New-year's, 


but I couldn't/' said Cousin Kitty. " He had a 
sorry time getting across. The vessel was almost 
three months/' 

"And did he really come across the — the" — 
consulting the slip of paper in her hand — " * the 
blue Atlantic wave?' " 

" Really and truly," was the reply. 

"And where is Yarrow?" continued Dolly. 

" If I'm to be catechised I may as well sit down, 
too," said Cousin Kitty, taking possession of a sec- 
tion of the rug, while Ned leaned against the man- 
tle-piece, and looked down upon them in true mas- 
culine fashion. 

" Yarrow is a small river in the south of Scotland, 
not much in itself, but made famous by the poets." 

" Oh yes, I see !" and Dolly consulted her slip 
of paper again. 

" Where poets sing of birken shades. 
And tell a tale of sorrow" 

" Now, what are ' birken shades?' and what 'tale 
of sorrow' did the poets tell?" 

" Well, my dear, ' birken shades,' turned into 
Yankee prose, are birch-trees ; and as to the ' tale 
of sorrow/ there are some lovely old ballads that 
will make your hair stand on end to read, written in 
the fifteenth century, called ' Rare Willie drowned 
in Yarrow/ and 'The Dowie Dens of Yarrow,' and 
two in the eighteenth, and one is called ' A Song,' 
and a grewsome song it is, too." 

YARROW. 251 

" Well/' rejoined Dolly, running her eye down 
the verses, " I think I know how the English sky- 
lark sings, and what heather is. Oh, thank you 
for this, Cousin Kitty !" and she held up the sprig 
of white heather. " And does it really mean ' good- 
luck ?'" 

" Yes; if you should ever visit the Scottish High- 
lands as a guest, your host will probably present 
you with a sprig of white heather the first thing. ,, 

" And I know that the gowan is a daisy/' Dolly 
went on, " but I don't think I know what holms 

" Something like green meadows," replied Cous- 
in Kitty; "and there's always a 'brae' in a Scotch 

" Same's there is in a donkey," put in Ned, who 
began to feel that he was not getting his due share 
of this conversation. 

" ' The swan on fair St. Mary's lake 
Still floats; " 

read Dolly, ignoring Ned's vile pun. " Whose 
swan was it? and why is he always floating?" 

" It's Wordsworth's swan, and he's likely to go 
floating down the river of time forever and a day," 
laughed Cousin Kitty. " And as for the ' apple 
sweet and rare, O ' — I had a fearful time making 
that rhyme, Dotty — one of those deliciously dis- 
mal old ballads has a good deal to say about the 
apple that ' hangs frae the rock.' " 


"And what's a 'marrow?' I don't know as I 
like to be called a ' marrow.' ' This was said 
doubtfully, Dolly's chief association with that word 
being a marrow squash. 

"Oh, Dotty, Dotty, just listen to this!" and 
Cousin Kitty sang, 

" ' Busk ye, busk ye, my bonnie, bonnie bride ! 
Busk ye, busk ye, my winso?ne marrow / 
Busk ye, busk ye, my bonnie, bonnie bride, 

And think nae mair of the Braes of Yarrow! 

" * Marrow ' means (in Scotch, mind you, my 
dear) one of a pair ; it means somebody very dear 
and sweet, and that's what you are, Dotty." And 
seizing her in her arms, Cousin Kitty lost her bal- 
ance, and together they rolled over Yarrow, who 
jumped up, looking his surprise at this specimen 
of American manners. 

" There ! and now that you've had the verses 
annotated by the author, just put 'em away and 
look at doggie himself. Isn't he a beauty ? And 
to name him ' Yarrow ' was such a happy thought !" 
And Cousin Kitty sat up on the rug, and gathered 
up her hair from which her comb had fallen. 

" These verses I shall always keep," remarked 
D.olly, folding them up carefully. " I wish I could 
write verses." 

" P'r'aps you will some time. P'r'aps you'll be 
the great American poetess Mr. Emerson says is 
coming," said Ned, consolingly. 



So Dolly put the verses away, and neither she 
nor Cousin Kitty nor Ned ever dreamed that some 
day they would be printed as a part of their vera- 
cious history. 



"And now I think I'll go and show him to 
Thankful," said Dolly, after they had talked a lit- 
tle more, and Ned had learned that " Busk ye " 
means " prepare," " get ready ;" and as she got up 
from the hearth-rug Yarrow executed his first cir- 
cling dance around his new mistress. 

There was not a guest in the house, and the ris- 
ing wind which began to moan and shriek around 
the north-east gables, and the thickening snow, 
were prophecies of a quiet evening within. For 
any chance wayfarer would be likely to put up for 
the night at some hospitable farm-house, rather 
than to push on to the tavern through the storm 
and darkness. 

Dolly and Ned, followed by Yarrow, ran into 
the kitchen, while Cousin Kitty, who had an eye 
for the picturesque, stopped a moment in the open 
door to take in the whole cosey interior, with the 
pair sitting on either side of the fireplace. It was 
that hour when there always seemed to be a pause 
in the rush and hurry of the day ; the hour when, 
the chores being in progress outside, and the sup- 


per well under way inside, there was nothing to do 
but to wait with knitting or sewing in hand, or 
even with folded hands, if one chose. It was the 
one brief daily interval of leisure in that busy 

Between these two women sitting in the fire- 
light and talking quietly together there was a 
marked contrast. Between the Little Madam, with 
her tiny, graceful figure, clad in her gown of soft 
white woollen, with her nun's coif bringing out by 
contrast the velvety blackness of her eyes, sitting 
by her flax-wheel diligently spinning like another 
Penelope, and Thankful, tall and angular, her dark 
gown of print, though scrupulously neat, without 
finish of lace or linen, her hair twisted in a defiant 
knot on top of her head, sitting bolt upright in the 
straightest of straight-backed chairs, and knitting 
for dear life on a pair of stout blue stockings — be- 
tween these two the distance seemed wide indeed. 

But in reality they were the warmest and closest 
of friends, and always had a great deal to say to 
each other. Perhaps because they were both 
lonely and in some sense apart from others. For 
Thankful, despite her unattractive exterior and 
porcupinish temper, had a history, having, like 
most of us, once possessed a youth — a youth of 
sunny hopes, with eyes as bright as any that read 
these pages. During that glad spring-time she had 
— following the traditions of both Old and New 
England — spun and woven a chestful of house- 


hold linen ; and when Cyrus Hatton should return 
from the last voyage he intended to make to the 
East Indies it was understood they were to be 
married. But Cyrus never came back ; his ship, 
from the time she left Hong-Kong, was never 
heard from. She went down, doubtless, with all 
on board, in some fierce typhoon ; and with the 
lapse of time the chest of household linen had 
grown yellow, and the rosy- cheeked, bright -eyed 
girl had merged into the angular, crotchety, but 
withal tender-hearted woman with whom we have 
become partially acquainted in the progress of this 

For all helpless creatures she had an almost in- 
finite compassion, and to this feeling the Little 
Madam appealed strongly. For who could be 
more helpless than she, living in a sort of twilight 
with the past a blank? 

Thankful often said she was " loony," which ad- 
jective puzzled Cousin Kitty. 

" What does she mean, Auntie?" she asked Mrs. 
Park one day. 

"Country people say, ' crazy as a loon/ you 
know," replied Mrs. Park, " and loony is the ad- 
jective of loon, I suppose." 

" Pshaw !" said Cousin Kitty, " that's begging 
the question, Auntie. Why is a loon crazier than 
a coot, or any other sea-fowl, I beg to know?" 

And Mrs. Park said, " Fm sure I don't know," 
absently. She was just then looking over flan- 


nels, with a view to making warm petticoats for 
the McLouds, and was more interested in that 
just then than in the derivation of "loony." 

But Cousin Kitty pondered the question. 

" I have it !" she exclaimed at last. " 'Tisn't 
from loon at all. Loon, used in that sense, is only 
the corruption of Luna. Dialects are full of such 
corruptions. Luna — the moon — is said to take 
away people's senses, you know, especially when 
they sleep in the moonlight, and that's where 
Thankful gets her ' loony/ d'ye see, Auntie ?" And 
Cousin Kitty felt all the pride of a discoverer in 
the realm of language, and Mrs. Park said, absent- 
ly, " It's very likely." She was still considering 
the subject of the warm flannel petticoats. 

The fireside tete-a-tete was broken up by the 
entrance of Ned and Dolly, followed by Yarrow. 
Neither Thankful nor the Little Madam had seen 
the latter, as on his arrival by stage he had been 
conveyed directly to Cousin Kitty's room. He 
was duly admired and praised, to which praise and 
admiration he responded in true doggish fashion 
by prancing, cocking his silken ears, and waving 
his superb tail. He took to the Little Madam at 
once, as was to be expected, and Thankful secured 
his undying affection by giving him a huge lump 
of brown sugar. Having thus been cordially re- 
ceived into the bosom of the family, he stretched 
himself on the rug near the settle, in the warmest 
corner of the kitchen. 



The chores were finished, supper w^> eaten, and 
the dishes washed, but instead of going into the 
sitting-room for an evening of reading and games, 
the three lingered in the kitchen. The hearth was 
swept up, a fresh relay of wood piled upon the 
iron dogs, and 'Zekle settled himself in one corner 
of the fireplace for his after-supper smoke. Tobac- 
co-smoke was offensive to Thankful, so he always 
contrived to sit so the smoke from his pipe should 
pass off up the chimney. 

Not long ago I read in the life of the distin- 
guished Thomas Carlyle that he used to smoke in 
that way because tobacco-smoke gave Mrs. Carlyle 
a headache ; and I suspect a good many smokers 
have found out that way to be rid of the dead 
odors of tobacco — those smokers, I mean, who are 
so fortunate as to have an open fireplace by which 
to smoke. 

" Let's blow soap-bubbles a while, " suggested 
Cousin Kitty. " That is, if Thankful will let us," 
she added, smiling upon the autocrat of the 

Thankful graciously assented, and she herself 
brought out the huge yellow mince-meat bowl in 
which to make the suds. Fresh clay pipes with 
which to blow the bubbles were to be had in abun- 
dance ; for Thankful was always breaking 'Zekle's 
pipes — accidentally, of course — by knocking them 
off the mantle -piece or the jamb by the oven, 
where he always left them " clus t' th' edge," as 


she said. Whether broken accidentally or not, 
'Zekle took the precaution to have a good store 
on hand, lest some night, thinking to take his 
usual smoke, he might find himself pipeless, and 
nothing for it but to pull on his boots again and 
tramp over to " Jacob's " for a pipe or go without. 
Out of this store he presented to each of the three 
a long pipe of purest white. 

Presently the kitchen was gay with prismatic 
bubbles. They floated in the draught towards 
the fireplace ; they rose up to the ceiling, breaking 
against its smoky surface. Yarrow, after watching 
them a while, seized one, and gave a whine of dis- 
appointment as it vanished in his grasp. Up and 
down the kitchen flew the three soap-bubble blow- 
ers, laughing and breathless, trying to see how 
many bubbles they could keep afloat at a time. 
'Zekle watched the fun with a broad smile, Thank- 
ful's countenance relaxed over her knitting, and 
the Little Madam drew her wheel near the table 
whereon stood the bowl, so as to be in the thick 
of the sport. Only the Persian cat looked on with 
grave indifference. He had seen too much of life 
to be taken in by a soap-bubble. He fell asleep, 
and dreamed of mice and other substantial things. 

The storm without increased in violence. Occa- 
sionally a strong blast swept down the chimney, 
sending tongues of flame out into the room. The 
gathering snow upon the windows crept up to the 
middle of the sash. The cow-boy coming in from 


the barn, whither he had been to give the cows 
their nightcap of sweet rowan, " guessed there'd 
be some diggin' t' do in the mornm'," and, taking 
his candle, went off to bed in the open chamber 
over the wood-room, where the snow already lay- 
in little drifts upon the floor. 

Still the mad romp went on, still the rainbow- 
hued bubbles floated up and burst, while merry- 
shouts within alternated with wild storm -bursts 

Presently, in a lull of both storm and merriment, 
a faint jingling of sleigh-bells was heard. They 
ceased just under the kitchen windows ; they 
ceased in a confused jangle, as though the horse 
wearing them had fallen in the deep snow. 

" I vum 'f there ain't a traveller ! Must be druv 
t' be out 'n this weather." And 'Zekle, laying aside 
his pipe, took down the lantern and proceeded to 
light the candle. This proved to be a work of 
time. The lighter of fat pine first refused to burn, 
and then the candle-wick proved obstinate. 

" That's b'cause you alwa's will pinch it out 
with y'r fingers," said Thankful, alluding to 'Ze- 
kle's habit of wetting his fingers in his mouth 
before pinching out the snuff of the blown-out 

Meanwhile a renewed jangling of bells indicated 
that the horse was scrambling up. No one, how- 
ever, except 'Zekle and Thankful, paid any heed to 
the sound. Dolly had just succeeded in blowing 


an enormous bubble, and a fresh chase ensued 
around the kitchen. 

Having at last lighted the candle, 'Zekle shut 
the old tin lantern and went out. It was a queer 
old lantern, with holes punched in the tin to let 
out the light, such as may be found to-day in 
country garrets, if indeed they may not still be in 
use in primitive districts. 

The big bubble finally burst, and the blowers 
were standing around the bowl beginning anew, 
when the door opened, and 'Zekle came in with 
the traveller, who looked more like the popular 
conception of Santa Claus than anything else. He 
was clad in fur from top to toe, to every hair of 
which, apparently, a snow-flake clung. He ad- 
vanced to the fire, took his stand upon the broad 
hearth, and shook himself like a Newfoundland 
dog, sending a shower of snow into the corner of 
the settle where lay the Persian cat, that awoke 

The three standing around the yellow bowl 
dipped in their pipes, giving no heed at first to 
this by-play, for guests came as naturally to the 
old tavern as did the days and nights. But just as 
they were about to send off simultaneously three 
superb bubbles, their attention was distracted by 
the Little Madam. 

She had risen from her wheel, and was standing 
with parted lips, gazing with all her soul in her 
eyes. As has been said before somewhere in the 


course of this story, and perhaps it has been said 
more than once, her eyes ordinarily had a bewil- 
dered, questioning look. She seemed to grope 
continually in the past. This expression was now 
intensified, as though something had struck with 
extraordinary force one of the always vibrating 
chords of her memory. One would have said that 
she was about to grasp a definite recollection. 

Dolly and Ned, standing on either side of Cous- 
in Kitty, grasped each an arm without speaking, 
and the eyes of the three followed hers and rested 
upon the stranger. He had drawn off his driving- 
gloves, and was now leisurely laying aside his long 
fur cloak. As he did so, he talked with 'Zekle, 
who was asking questions about the storm and the 
state of the roads. He spoke English with a for- 
eign accent. He was tall and slight, and his hands, 
which he held to the fire for a moment, were small, 
muscular, and patrician. At last he took off his fur 
cap, which, drawn closely down, had entirely hid- 
den his face with the exception of a drooping mus- 
tache, which fell over his mouth and was heavy 
with frost. 

He then turned to greet the other inmates of 
the kitchen. As he did so his eyes fell on the Lit- 
tle Madam, who had now advanced into the mid- 
dle of the room, still gazing fixedly at him. 

For a brief second — an eternity it seemed to 
those who stood by — the two looked at each other. 
Over the countenance of the stranger passed an ex- 


pression of intense astonishment, of incredulity, of 
recognition, of joy, one quickly following the oth- 
er. He, too, stepped forward into the room. 

" Anita !" he said, holding out his arms, and with 
a cry of supernal gladness the Little Madam flew 
to their shelter. 

In that supreme moment three more of 'Zekle's 
pipes, dropping from nerveless hands, fell to the 
floor in irremediable smash, while Yarrow, spring- 
ing to his feet, gazed doubtfully at the pair, not 
being able to decide whether he ought to fly at the 
stranger's throat, or circle about them in a welcom- 
ing dance. 

Over the little figure lying motionless in his 
arms the stranger murmured a few words in a 
strange tongue, but there was no response. The 
recognition, that one glimpse into the closed past, 
had been too much for the frail little woman. She 
lay upon his arm with closed eyes, pale and sweet 
as an Easter lily. 

" Is she dead ?" he asked, fearfully. 

" No," replied Thankful, recovering her scattered 
senses, which had been quite knocked out of her 
by this astonishing scene. She advanced prompt- 
ly, reaching down, in passing, the " camphire " and 
opodeldoc bottles from the cupboard over the man- 
tle-piece. " She's only fainted ; fetch her right in 
here." And she led the way to Mrs. Park's pri- 
vate sitting-room. 

That good lady was not a little surprised at the 


sight of this unexpected and singular procession. 
'Zekle still carried the old tin lantern in his hand, 
and Dolly and Ned followed closely in the rear in 
a state of fearful yet delightful expectancy. They 
scented afar off the coming story. 

" Now we shall know all about it," Ned ventured 
to whisper to Dolly, as they stood back from the 
sofa whereon lay the Little Madam. " Who d'y' 
bet he is, anyhow?" 

" Oh, don't, Ned," said Dolly, tearfully. " P Yaps 
she's dead." 

" No she isn't," was Ned's sturdy reply. " Didn't 
you ever see anybody faint before ? Jerushy Potts 
fainted away once in meeting-time, an' fell an' hit 
her head an awful crack on the cricket, an' didn't 
know it — kept right on fainting. Oh, she'll come 
out all right. But, I say, I hope he'll tell pretty 
quick who he is, an' who she is, an' how she come 
in that boat an' don't know anything. Don't you, 

"Ye-es," Dolly replied, still doubtful, but in- 
clining to the indulgence of a little curiosity. 
" But see — her eyes are open !" 

Yes, her eyes were open, and they were moving 
from one to another of the anxious faces about 
her, and each one saw in them a clear intelligence. 
After all these years of mental wanderings, the 
Little Madajn had come to herself once more. 

" The Lord be praised !" ejaculated Thankful, 
in a clfoked voice. " The dear soul \s all right." 


And the opodeldoc poured in a stream from the 
bottle, which, in her agitation, she held at an un- 
safe angle. But nobody noticed it. Other eyes 
besides hers were dim, and Ned caught himself 
sniffing, to his great disgust. He winked hard, 
however, and fixed his eyes on Anita. He wasn't 
going to break down if he could help it. It was 
well enough for Dolly to be wiping her eyes with 
her handkerchief — she was a girl ; but boys were 
made of different stuff. 

Anita, as we may now call her, tried to rise 
from the sofa. " No, my dear, you had better rest 
a while, ,, said Mrs. Park. She lay quietly for a 
few moments, with her eyes fixed upon her new- 
found friend. Her nun's coif had fallen off, and 
her rippling black hair lay in great waves of lumi- 
nous darkness about her. The two talked togeth- 
er for a few moments in their own tongue, while 
Dolly and Ned were consumed with curiosity. 
Then she turned to Mrs. Park. 

" Luis will tell you all about me," she said. " I 
remember now, but Luis will tell you." 

And Luis did tell — how he and Anita grew up 
I together in one of those sunny islands that lie 
midway between North and South America, where 
grow the orange and lemon and banana, and other 
luscious tropical fruits, where the jewelled hum- 
ming-bird builds in bowers of orchids and hanging 
ferns, and the cicada strikes together his big black 
wings till they resound like a blacksmith's anvil. 


(I am not telling you this just in the order in 
which Luis told it ; that would be impossible. 
For right in the middle of a sentence, perhaps, he 
would turn to Anita and say something in their 
own tongue, and she, seeing Dolly's and Ned's cu- 
riosity, would ask him to repeat to them what he 
had told her. So, as you see, my telling of it must 
necessarily be mixed. What he said to her was 
concerning some incidents of their childhood, in 
this way wisely and gently trying to strengthen her 
returning memory. And as she listened to these, 
the light of happiness deepened in her eyes, and 
so lovely a color stole into her cheeks that Cousin 
Kitty could not refrain from whispering to Aunt 
Anna, "Our. pale lily is fast turning, into a blush 
rose." Most of his talk was addressed to Mrs. 

Their fathers' estates joined, and were in the 
suburbs of a populous little city, the estates them- 
selves running far back into the hills, with sugar 
plantations and coffee plantations. Luis and Ani- 
ta used to wander up among those hills into the 
tangle of woods where lived the Imperial parrot, 
with its plumage of royal purple and green. " And 
do you remember, my Anita, the day we found 
the humming-bird on her nest, and sat down to 
watch her, and her little mate flew at my eyes, 
and we could not drive him quite aw r ay even with 
a stick, but he would perch on a twig near by, and 
every time we stirred so much as a finger he flew 


at us — the furious atom ! and how his mate came 
down from her nest and soothed his ruffled tem- 
per with her coaxings. 

" And there was the time we went with Henrique 
to get the wild bees* honey, and Henrique climbed 
up the tree — two hundred feet high it was, dear 
madam ; you have none such in New England. He 
walked up on the strong vines of the parasites that 
covered its trunk, and he smoked out the bees, and 
sent us down great flakes of honey in his pannier, 
and the amber sirup he poured into the spathes of 
the mountain-palm — like your pea-pods, madam, 
only bigger, five feet long — and one of the spathes 
upset, my Anita, do you remember? and spilt the 
honey all over your head and your pretty dress, 
and how Dolores — " 

"Ah, Dolores, my poor Dolores !" interrupted 
Anita, with a cry of pain. " She is no more alive 
— the dreadful earthquake !" and a shudder passed 
over her. 

" No, no, my Anita, Dolores lives. She lives to 
welcome Anita. She is not dead." 

Dolores was Anita's old black nurse, he ex- 

The houses of these two families, it seems, were 
close by the sea, the lovely tropical sea— the treach- 
erous sea, which woos with its beauty and then de- 
stroys. But this they — the two children — did not 
know. They only knew that it was beautiful with 
its varying tints of amethyst and pearl and heav? 


enly sapphire, and they played and swam in its 

So these two grew up together till they were 
seventeen, when Luis was sent to Cuba on busi- 
ness for his father — something about the coffee 
plantations and sugar plantations. And while he 
was away an earthquake visited this lovely and 
tranquil island, a fearful earthquake, and in an in- 
stant a part of the populous city, with the homes 
wherein dwelt the families of Luis and Anita, sunk 
without warning, and the sea, the lovely, treach- 
erous, tropical sea, rolled over them. 

That was what Luis found when he returned. 
Not a trace of those two happy homes, only the 
dimpling, sparkling, babbling sea. He inquired 
among the survivors from the earthquake if none 
of those whom he loved had escaped. " Not one," 
was the answer. And so he came away, for he 
could not stay on that now desolate island — came 
to New York, where his father had had business 
relations with a certain house, and there he had 
remained, working diligently, and accumulating 
much money for — nobody, he had thought, but 
now — and he looked at Anita. 

And how did he chance to arrive here, at Park's 
Tavern, on this stormy night ? He was on his way 
to visit a friend of the business house living in 
New Bedford — on the way from Boston, by way 
of Bridgewater, through which town he had gone 
to take a friend. And somehow in the blinding 


storm he had missed his way, and chance had 
brought him here to find his Anita, as one risen 
from the dead. Chance? — he corrected himself 
reverently. Evidently he thought, with the old 

" Eternal God that chance did guide? 

Much to Ned's and Dolly's disappointment, he 
paused here. He had not yet explained the, to 
them, vital point. How came the Little Madam 
to be floating in mid -ocean when Skipper Joe 
picked her up? That was what they wanted to 
know. And Anita, with her keen perceptions, di- 
vined their wish. That she only could explain ; 
Luis knew nothing of that. 

She remembered, she said, one morning after 
Luis had gone, taking out their little boat for a 
row around the island to a favorite flower -lined 
cove. Terrified by the sudden earthquake, she 
tried to return, and must have rowed near the 
spot where their old homes had sunk. The unfa- 
miliar shore must have bewildered her. She re- 
membered rowing hither and thither, seeking in 
vain for her lost home. And then her senses must 
have fled, and the winds and waves carried her 
where they pleased. 

It was late when Luis finished his narrative, and 
Aunt Anna at once ordered Ned and Dolly off to 
bed, though Dolly never looked wider awake, and 


Ned protested he wasn't one bit sleepy, and didn't 
feel as if he ever should be again. 

Cousin Kitty, the last to leave the room, re- 
opened the door after saying " Good-night," and 
put back her head. 

" So Ulysses has found Ms Penelope, after all, 
Auntie," she said. 

" As we hoped," was the smiling reply. 



It was on a Monday afternoon in early March. 
The stage that day had left at the tavern three 
big trunks, around which were grouped in Anita's 
room the whole feminine portion of the household. 
These trunks had been opened, and part of the con- 
tents lay upon the floor, looking as though, having 
been relieved from the pressure of the covers, they 
had boiled over. Above these shining masses of 
color Anita hovered like a humming-bird over a 
bed of honey-laden flowers. This was her trous- 
seau, forwarded by Luis from New York. She 
made a rapid little plunge on this side, a deft lit- 
tle plunge on that, bringing up each time a drop 
of sweets in the shape of a silk of pale blue, a rib- 
bon of pale pink, or a velvet of lavender — those 
delicate old-fashioned tints of which we seem to 
have lost sight in our present carnival of color. 

"What lovely, lovely lace !" exclaimed Cousin 
Kitty, lifting from its box the wedding-veil itself. 
" It's worth its weight in — diamond-dust ! I don't 
believe the Empress of all the Russias has finer. 
The Senor Gonsalva must have a mint of money." 

Just then Anita came up from one of her dives 


with a jewel - casket, which, on being opened, dis- 
played such an array of brilliant gems lying in 
their velvet beds as almost struck the beholders 
dumb. Not quite, however. 

"Oh, what are those ?" asked Dolly, hanging 
over a set of opals, in the hearts of which a spark 
of emerald and ruby flamed like imprisoned fire. 
"And oh what splendid, splendid rubies !" Speech 
could go no farther, and she contemplated in rapt 
silence a diamond cross that sparkled and flashed 
like distant suns. Of a truth, as Cousin Kitty said, 
the Senor Gonsalva must have a mint of money. 

" PYaps he's got a diamond mine," Ned con- 
trived to whisper in her ear. 

From another of her sudden plunges Anita 
emerged with a package neatly folded and direct- 
ed to " Miss Makepeace," the contents of which 
took that imperturbable lady quite by surprise. 
On being opened, there slipped from it a black 
satin dress pattern of wonderful texture — " thick 
as a board," was Thankful's own descriptive term 
for it whenever in after -years she talked of it, 
which was pretty often, as you may suppose. 

Other surprises followed quickly on the discov- 
ery of the black satin, viz., an India shawl for Mrs. 
Park, which could almost be drawn through Anita's 
ruby bracelet, a pearl necklace, and a locket with 
her monogram in seed-pearls on the back, for Cous- 
in Kitty, a similar one for Dolly, together with a 
dress pattern of creamy white satin embroidered 


with rose-buds for the latter, and one of pale pink 
satin for the former. These were presented to the 
two in their character as bridesmaids, in which ca- 
pacity they had consented to serve at the coming 
wedding, which was to take place about the mid- 
dle of April. 

Having found and presented these packages, 
Anita stood with clasped hands, wrinkling up her 
forehead, and apparently much puzzled and per- 

"Ah, my good Ned — " she began, when her 
countenance suddenly cleared. She made a plunge 
into what might be called the north-east corner of 
the biggest trunk — it was certainly as big as a 
moderate state-room on a Sound steamer, and 
could consistently claim an interest in the points 
of compass — and brought up therefrom a box, 
which she presented to Ned with an expression 
of happy triumph. It contained that one treasure 
so unspeakably dear to every boyish heart, viz., a 
watch — a gold watch, at that — a watch that would 
"go," which cannot be said with truth of every 
boy's watch — a watch, too, with his monogram in 
tiny diamonds on the back — and furthermore, a 
watch with a gold chain attached. 

Ned, who had not been able to resist the temp- 
tation of being present at the opening of these 
trunks, which had excited much neighborly curi- 
osity when lifted off the stage that day, but who 
up to that time had kept somewhat in the back- 



ground, feeling that it wasn't quite consistent 
with manly dignity to exhibit too much interest 
in " clothes," now came forward, blushing with de- 
light, and thanked Anita. 

" It's — it's bu — ," he stammered, coming, in his 
confusion, within a hair's -breadth of the contra- 
band word, and then stopping himself and begin- 
ning anew. " He's a trump, an' it's no end kind 
of him ; but I guess you told him to, Anita ;" and 
Anita dimpled and laughed, and did not deny it. 
And with her own brown little hand she took the 
old watch from his pocket — a watch which he had 
to wind up four times a day to keep it going, set- 
ting it ahead one hour every time it was wound — 
and replaced it with the gold one, hooking the 
chain into his button-hole. 

" Luis is royal in his gifts," said Cousin Kitty 
afterwards in a private interview with Aunt Anna. 
" But ought we to accept them ?" 

" Ordinarily I should say not," replied Aunt 
Anna, who was admiring the beauties of her India 
shawl. And then she laughed, adding, " But in 
the ordinary course of things such a question isn't 
often likely to arise. We may accept these, I 
think, in the spirit in which they are offered. 
It's a sort of song of praise on Luis's part, you 
see, the giving of these. It's his way of celebrat- 
ing the finding of Anita — a paean of thanksgiving." 

"A kind of recitative, you might say," added 
Cousin Kitty, " with my pearl necklace for high G, 


and your India shawl for low A. Well, I must 
say I'm not sorry that such is your decision, 
Auntie. For though I could have parted with 
these, if necessary " — looking from the pale pink 
satin in one hand to the pearl necklace in the oth- 
er — " I'm very willing to keep them. But what 
a wedding it's going to be for the old tavern ! 
and in what gorgeous raiment shall the brides- 
maids shine, eh, Dotty?" and Dolly, who had been 
standing by, awaiting with no little anxiety Aunt 
Anna's decision, gave the creamy satin and the 
pearl necklace which she held in her arms a little 
hug of congratulation and possession. Jubilate ! 
they were hers ! and she for one was glad that the 
Sefior Gonsalva's paean of thanksgiving had taken 
the form it had. 

But the opening of the trunks was only the be- 
ginning of the end. A busy six weeks ensued. 
The old tavern was turned topsy-turvy. " It beat 
the c'nventions," said 'Zekle. 

In the kitchen the wedding-cake was made 
in relays, seven loaves at a time — twenty -eight 
great fruity loaves in all, with frosting, over which 
Thankful exhausted her utmost skill in decoration. 

In Anita's sunny room, amid the fragrance of 
her mignonette and the continuous chattering of 
the white Australian cockatoo, the wedding-clothes 
were " created," to use Cousin Kitty's own word 
for it. At first there had been talk of summon- 
ing a distinguished dress -maker from Quincy to 


preside over this department. She had made the 
gowns of the daughter of the Senator from that 
district for her debut at Washington. But Cousin 
Kitty vetoed this proposition. 

" Let Pella cut them," she said. " Her fits are 
perfect, and I can tell her all the rest. I've the 
greatest knack at those things, Auntie, and I 
should so like to create Penelope's wardrobe." 

So Pella, the Byfield dress-maker, whose baptis- 
mal name was Experience, came, and Anita was 
turned into a dummy, and tried on gowns from 
morning till night, while the two cut and fitted, 
and pinched in here and let out there, and as each 
fresh gown was finished, it was hung in the bed- 
room opening off the dancing-hall, which had 
been devoted to this purpose, and thither the myr- 
iad of callers at the tavern — for news of all these 
wonderful happenings there had run like wildfire 
through the town — were taken to view them. 

With only one exception they pronounced them 
the most wonderful array of gowns they had ever 
set eyes on. Mrs. Davis was that one exception. 
She had a fictitious friend somewhere — like Sairey 
Gamp's Mrs. Harris — named Matilda Price. This 
Matilda Price, according to Mrs. Davis, once had 
a gown that united in itself all the glories of Ani- 
ta's whole wardrobe, hearing of which assertion 
unbelieving Byfield cried out with Betsy Prigg, 
" I don't believe there's no sich a person." 

The bridesmaids' gowns being a sort of side is- 


sue only, were to be made some time, and some 
time proving to be no time, it is a matter of no 
surprise that Pella sat up till three o'clock on the 
night preceding the wedding to finish them. 

As to the wedding itself, a strictly private cere- 
mony was talked of at first ; but this intention be- 
coming known, there arose such a howl of dissent 
and remonstrance through the length and breadth 
of Byfield that it was reconsidered. Anita said 
she would like to have all these people who had 
been so kind to her at her wedding, so three hun- 
dred invitations were issued, which comprised a 
large part of the inhabitants of the town, which 
numbered, all told, only about five hundred. 

The ceremony was to take place in the dancing- 
hall, that being the biggest room in the house — 
the only one, in fact, into which three hundred 
guests could be comfortably put at one time. In- 
deed, if it had not been for this big hall, it is more 
than probable that these three hundred guests 
would not have been invited. 

" And I wish we might have a wedding- bell, " 
Cousin Kitty had remarked when they talked over 
the arrangements ; " but that's past hoping for, I 
suppose." But on her explaining what she meant 
by a wedding-bell — a bell made of flowers, to ring 
down upon the bride after the ceremony — Ned 
said of course they could have one. " May-flow- 
ers enough in the woods t' make a dozen bells, 
Cousin Kitty." 


The May-flower comes early in the land of the 
Pilgrims, coming often, as did the Pilgrim May- 
flozver itself, " amidst the storms " and the frosts 
of a lingering winter. But this year spring came 
early. The heavy snow which had made the Sefior 
Luis Gonsalva a willing prisoner for a week at the 
tavern, waiting for the roads to be broken out and 
made passable, had fled almost as quickly as it had 
come, before the melting power of the spring sun. 
Everywhere the grass was springing green in the 
last of March ; the buds on the lilac-bushes at the 
south door of the tavern were swelling ; and the 
tiger-lilies and none-so-pretties were showing above 
the brown soil. Bluebirds and robins had made 
their appearance, and Dolly and Ned were of the 
opinion that Nature herself was hastening to get 
on her bridal robes to do honor to the coming wed- 
ding. The old people said they " shouldn't won- 
der " if the grain were waving in the fields, and the 
apple-trees were pink with bloom, by the nineteenth 
of April, as they were on that famous day in 1775. 

In this general and rapid advance of spring the 
May-flower was not a whit behind. The week be- 
fore the wedding it was in its glory, and a score or 
two of boys and girls, enlisted by Ned, were rifling 
the woods and fields of this darling of bleak New 

This was Dolly's first experience in May-flower 
gathering, but she soon learned where to seek for 
the shy beauties — under the moist pine-needles 


and in the shadiest nooks for the pink ones, and 
in the open fields and wood borders for the white. 
With only a slight brush of the fingers over the 
loosely-lying, dry, brown oak-leaves what a wealth 
of beauty was laid bare ! 

They brought these by the armful to Cousin 
Kitty, who carefully placed them in shallow troughs 
of water in one of those grewsome bins in the cool, 
dark cellar, to keep until the morning of the wed- 
ding, when they should be woven by myriads of 
helping fingers into the bell of wire which 'Zekle 
himself had fashioned in the wood-room chamber. 
These were, indeed, new times for 'Zekle. He 
never expected to have been called upon " t' build 
a weddin'-bell," and after he had finished it, its 
use was a mystery to him. Betty's mother, who, 
as usual, had been called in with Betty to assist in 
this avalanche of work so suddenly precipitated 
into the old tavern, waggled her head over it as 
something foreign if not heathenish, and Mrs. Da- 
vis could find no parallel for it in the experience 
of Matilda Price ; but Thankful was sure that 
anything originating with Cousin Kitty and ap- 
proved by Mrs. Park for the pleasure of the Little 
Madam must be all right, to which irresistible logic 
Betty's mother at last gave up her doubts. 

Luis arrived on the day but one preceding the 
wedding, and on the evening of the day before the 
wedding there arrived from Boston a renowned ca- 
terer, accompanied by six colored subordinates, 


and any number of mysterious packages and bas- 
kets. The boys who were now hanging continu- 
ously about the tavern, envying Ned his superior 
opportunities, and most of whom were among the 
invited guests, managed to get a peep into the 
dining-room where these mysterious baskets were 
being unladened, and carried home wonderful ac- 
counts of what they had seen. 

At last the day and the hour arrived, and the 
guests were assembled early in the hall, awaiting 
the entrance of the bridal party. At the upper 
end hung the wedding-bell, filling the room with 
its fragrance. Near by stood the minister, a grave 
and courtly gentleman of the old school, whose 
very presence was a benediction. 

The names of the three hundred guests are 
among the annals of the past. It will be enough 
to say that almost every one whom you have met 
in the course of this story was there — all but bed- 
ridden Matty and poor palsy-stricken Patty. And 
yet, strange as it may seem to you, it is a question 
if among those three hundred there were any who 
rejoiced more heartily over the Little Madam's 
restoration to happiness than did these two help- 
less, hapless creatures, to whom so much of what 
is supposed to constitute happiness was denied. 

In the corner farthest away from the place where 
the bridal party was to stand, the boys congre- 
gated in that gregarious way common to boys. 
They occasionally exchanged a remark in a hoarse 


whisper, and now and then one would pinch his 
neighbor or tread on his toes, feeling safe from 
the danger of a retaliating blow. 

The girls, on the contrary, had placed them- 
selves as near the spot where the party was to 
stand as etiquette allowed, where they smiled and 
sparkled, and exchanged whispers, too; and Aunt 
Debby, looking up into that corner as she came in 
at the door near the lower end of the hall, said, 
11 Bless 'em !" involuntarily and quite loud. She 
couldn't help it, they looked as though they were 
having a so thoroughly good time. 

Nannie, who came in with Debby, wore her Ma- 
rie Stuart lace cap — which Mrs. Park had given 
her for this very occasion — hind side before, and 
even Aunt Debby had failed to get on her some- 
what dry and ancient " front " exactly straight ; 
but her face beamed with good-will, and she shook 
all over in that jelly-like way fat people are apt to, 
as she exchanged smiles and greetings with each 
of the three hundred individually. 

Mr. Emerson was there with his mother, who 
looked more bizarre in dress than usual, in a white 
satin, which she had disinterred from some one of 
those chests where she kept her relics of the past. 
It was extremely short, displaying a pair of thick 
blue woollen stockings and low shoes. Over her 
shoulders she wore a mantle of pea -green gauze, 
which was crossed in front and fastened behind in 
a sash -like drapery. As usual, she carried a bag, 


this time of crimson beads with a purple fringe ;. 
and to her cap she had added a bunch of artificial 
flowers so preposterous in size and color that the 
merry girls in the corner came near going off into 
explosions of laughter at the sight of it, and were 
only restrained by their respect for her really ad- 
mirable qualities. 

But " what a pity," as Cousin Kitty said, " that 
so excellent a woman should make such a guy of 
herself!" Well, to be sure, we must not expect to 
find all the virtues and graces in one bundle. 

There chanced to be two guests at this wedding 
whose presence would have graced any assembly 
in the land. The mother of the beautiful Emily 
Marshall had come down for a brief rest, after a 
brilliant social winter, to drink fresh milk and to 
recruit on plain country fare, and she had been 
bidden to the wedding. She was not "the rose," 
but she was the mother of the rose, and her ele- 
gant manners and fine personal presence added not 
a little to its eclat. The other guest was Daniel 
Webster. He was here only for a brief hour en 
route, but it was an assembly after his own heart, 
of kindly, plain, but intelligent country-folk, and 
he enjoyed it accordingly. 

" Here they come !" whispered Johnny Tuttle, 
catching a glimpse of Ned through the open door, 
and thinking that even for that wonderful gold 
watch he wouldn't have been in his shoes just then. 

For Dolly and Ned were the first to enter, Ned 


looking very fine in his black velvet suit and scar- 
let necktie ; and as to Dolly — well, the girls fairly 
devoured her with their eyes, and would have de- 
clared her "just too sweet for anything," if they 
had had the advantages of our modern manner 
of expressing ourselves. Both looked slightly con- 
scious of the three hundred pairs of eyes, more 
or less, which were fastened upon them. It was 
something of an ordeal, it is true, but they acquit- 
ted themselves very well. 

Cousin Kitty and the brown-eyed doctor followed 
directly, and then came — ah, everybody held their 
breath as the tall, dark, handsome man entered, 
leading his petite bride in bridal white, the filmy 
lace of her veil enveloping herlike a silvery mist. 

If the girls in the corner had dared, they would 
have given vent to their feelings in one prolonged, 
sighing " O — h !" As it was, they only breathed 
a little more deeply. And the boys ceased from 
their pinchings and punchings as the two stopped 
under the wedding-bell, and the minister came for- 
ward to his place in front of them. 

The marriage-service is always brief — to the look- 
ers-on — and it was soon over. One incident must 
not be forgotten. As Anita in her low, sweet voice 
began the formula, " I, Anita, take thee, Luis," a 
sob was heard — a queer sob, strangled in its birth 
apparently. It came from Thankful, who, feeling 
rather " shook," as she explained afterwards, with 
the events of the preceding weeks, had taken the 


precaution to shelter herself behind Mr. Webster's 
ample proportions ; but when, just at that point in 
the service, she saw Skipper Joe draw the back of 
his hand across his eyes, it entirely " upsot " her. 
She escaped from the hall at once, but recovered 
her equanimity in time to preside over the wed- 
ding-cake, arrayed in the glories of her new satin. 

The congratulations followed the service — very 
informal congratulations, but very genuine. Out 
from their corner fluttered the girls like a covey of 
gay-plumaged birds, and kissed the bride, and hov- 
ered and cooed around her. And up from their 
corner came the boys in somewhat more awkward 
fashion, and shook hands shamefacedly with the 
Little Madam — for to them she would always be 
that. Then followed the never-to-be-forgotten 
banquet, with its pyramids of ice-cream — ice-cream 
was not the every-day thing it is now — its translu- 
cent jellies, and luscious fruits from those islands 
lying midway between North and South America ; 
and last, but not least, its thick slices of wedding- 
cake, of which each boy ate his to the last crumb, 
while the 'girls just tasted theirs, and took the 
remnant home to dream over. 

And so went the Little Madam forth from the 

shelter of the old tavern. 



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